Does recess have an effect on student learning?

As the children begin their day by eating breakfast and going through their daily routine of centers they engage in stimulated play. After the centers and structured learning is done, it is time for recess. In my observations, on days where the weather doesn’t agree with outdoor activities the students will wander down to an indoor room that is used for martial arts. The teachers provide the students with a bag of balls and room to run. On nice days, the students take a brief walk to the towns hockey rink. This is where the children proceed to simply run around the empty rink with no stimulation for creative play.

Afterwards, the class heads back to the classroom they have a seat on the carpet and listen to a story until its time for lunch. Children seem to have difficulty sitting still and paying attention. Could the possibility of low stimulation during recess cause difficulty in the classroom? Should schools be required to provide a stimulating playground or at the very least, stimulating outdoor toys?

Is Recess Important For Kids Or A Waste Of Time? Here’s What The Research Says | TIME

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Run, run, run…but is there any learning being done?

As I stand and occasionally run alongside the children during their 30 minute recess I can’t help but to think of how boring this all is. There are always a handful of the 3-5 year olds standing against the wall all because there’s nothing to do but run. With such low stimulation and motivation to play my thoughts all come back to whether or not this takes a toll on the students learning abilities. The amount of development that takes place during recess is overwhelming but does that change when the environment is less than stimulating?

Research Shows…

Research has shown that along with physical benefits, recess can have emotional and social benefits as well. Have you ever noticed that everyday adults in the workforce are required to take at least one break a day but more and more adults are pushing for no breaks for students? There is an importance of needed brain breaks that are stimulating and nourishing to the overall well-being of the child. There is also research that shows that the type of play equipment or environment in which recess is held can have an effect on children’s behavior.

Resources

Brez, C., & Sheets, V. (2017). Classroom benefits of recess. Learning Environments Research20(3), 433–445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-017-9237-x

Chmelynski, C. C. (1998). Is recess needed? Education Digest64(4), 67–68.

Kercood, S., & Banda, D. R. . (2012). The Effects of Added Physical Activity on Performance during a Listening Comprehension Task for Students with and without Attention Problems. International Journal of Applied Educational Studies13(1), 19–32.

Venable, S. (2017). Recess and Academic Achievement. National Teacher Education Journal10(1), 75–78.

Educational Gurus

Growing up I always, always loved school. I don’t remember a moment where I didn’t want to be a teacher. The person who sparked my interest in becoming an educator was the one and only Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus. A cartoon character can be a guru, right?! Ms. Frizzle always amazed me with her wild (but unrealistic) adventures she had with her students. Ms. Frizzle fully submerged (quite literally) her students into each and every lesson she created. I always thought that if only I could engage my students HALF as much as she did my students would learn so much. Yes, I realize some of the teaching strategies Ms. Frizzle utilizes are very unrealistic (obviously, it’s a cartoon) but if you look at the bigger picture you’ll see the importance of hands on, fully immersive teaching.

As an educator there is an overwhelming amount of theorists and theories to choose from. The main theorists’ pedagogy that I would say has helped shape me as an educator today would be Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes the different levels in which a child needs to achieve to succeed in school. The base of the hierarchy is the child’s basic needs in order to survive. These needs include air, water, food, sleep, shelter, etc. As the child achieves these needs they then move upwards towards safety needs, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Without achieving these steps the student will struggle to succeed in school. A child cannot move from one step to another without fully satisfying the previous level. In other words, if a student does not have the food/nutrition that they need then they will not feel safe and so on.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Thankfully, I have amazing professors at Millersville University to teach me the ins and outs of being an educator. They share insight on their experiences and fill you with so much resourceful knowledge. But, I can’t give them all of the credit.  On February 10th, 2017 I was blessed to start my job at an amazing early learning center (ELC). I have 2 amazing bosses, one being a 2007 Millersville grad. It’s really resourceful having a boss who went through the same education program and knows exactly what you’re going through. When I started at my ELC, I was initially placed in the toddler classroom which really allowed me to understand and focus on child development (spending 9 hours a day with toddlers 5 days a week can drive you nuts but also teach you a lot). I was then honored to accepted the position of PreK teacher in our building. I have had that position for the last two years. Being a PreK teacher in my own independent classroom with 10 children while going to school has advanced my education far beyond belief.  Here, at the ELC I have began developing new truths and insights with the guidance of my director, Katie. Aside from school, at my job I have learned how to create real lesson-plans based on my students needs, built skills in parent/teacher communication, positive behavior reinforcement techniques, general classroom management, working with others, collaborating with director and owner, etc. I am beyond thankful for the job I have and the experiences it has given me. I can only imagine who will help me along the rest of journey. Will it be my future employers? Future grad professors? We shall see!

Source:

Maslow, A., & Lewis, K. J. (1987). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Salenger Incorporated14, 987.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Bridget Anderson! I am currently a student at Millersville University. Throughout this blog we will be exploring my educational path through ERCH 496. Enjoy!