Texas School Beats ADHD by Tripling Recess Time
Category: Mental Health and WellnessVia: jasper2529 • 3 years ago • 18 comments
While most school districts across the country are cutting back on recess time and ramping up the Ritalin, one Texas school has kindergartners and first graders sitting still and “incredibly attentive.”
What’s their secret? Their recess time has tripled.
Instead of 20 minutes of recess per day, Eagle Mountain Elementary kindergartners and first graders now get an hour, broken up into four 15-minute breaks, in addition to lunchtime.
Their teachers say it’s totally transformed them.
The kids are less fidgety, less distracted, more engaged in learning and make more eye contact.
Eagle Mountain is one of dozens of schools in Texas, Oklahoma and California testing out extra recess time as part of a three-year trial. The pilot program is modeled after the Finnish school system, whose students get some of the best scores in the world in reading, math and science.
The designer of the program — called LiiNK — is kinesiologist Debbie Rhea of Texas Christian University. Rhea spent 6 weeks in Finland in 2012 to discover the secret of their success.
The biggest difference Rhea noticed was that students in Finland get much more recess than American kids do — 15 minutes of “unstructured outdoor play” after every 45 minutes of instruction.
They key is the “unstructured,” Rhea told TODAY, which means kids are allowed to run, play and make up their own games.
While indoor breaks are better than none, Rhea says they should ideally take place outdoors because fresh air, natural light and vivid colors all have a big impact on brain function.