Texas School Beats ADHD by Tripling Recess Time

  

Category:  Mental Health and Wellness

Via:  jasper2529  •  3 years ago  •  18 comments

Texas School Beats ADHD by Tripling Recess Time

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




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.


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Jasper2529
Masters Participates
1  seeder  Jasper2529    3 years ago

“If you want a child to be attentive and stay on task — if you want them to encode the information you’re giving them in their memory — you’ve got to give them regular breaks,” says Ohio State University pediatrician Bob Murray.

Murry helped write the   American Pediatrics Association’s policy statement on recess.

He says brain scans have shown kids learn better after a break for physical activity and unstructured play.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
Masters Expert
1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Jasper2529 @1    3 years ago

My son and daughter in law had it out with their school when my grandson was in elementary school.   The 'admin' wanted him drugged, my son effectively told them to F-off.

Yeah...  he was a typical little boy.  More energy than should legally be allowed for any one person, ESPECIALLY a little kid. (But, if I only had a tenth of that energy now!!)  He couldn't keep still for more than 2 nanoseconds before he was bouncing around and being inattentive.   Much like my son was when he was that age.

Well, no drugs and now, he's doing great since he's older and can pay attention without being distracted by a sound, movement, shadow, thought or whatever.   Of course, it's also the school.  He's in the International School in Bangkok and THEY don't tolerate discipline problems.   Any first time offenders get a personal warning.  Second time offenders are warned in the presence of BOTH parents.  Third time offenders are expelled (and mom and dad DO NOT get a tuition refund).

Kids NEED a way to get the energy out.  And recess is a great way to do that.   But, wait, they can't play dodge ball as that's too violent.   They can't run as that's too dangerous as they can trip and get skinned knees.  Maybe they can go outside and sit quietly watching butterflies or spiders spinning a web.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
1.1.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1    3 years ago

The grandson (and son) you describe could have been one of my sons. Endless energy even after hours of active playing, swimming, etc. (I'd like to have 1/10th of that energy now, too!).

When I was in grammar school (K-8), we had unstructured recess 2x/day - morning and afternoon. My school wasn't fancy. The playground was paved ... no soft grass or rubber tire chips to cushion our knees and elbows when we fell. Dodge ball, tag, baseball - nobody cried or whined when they got hit with a ball or got tagged.

We also walked to and from school - morning, lunch time, and 3PM. Parents didn't drive us even when it rained or snowed. Where I live now, the street leading to the grammar school is clogged with mommies driving their children, and they only live only 1-2 short blocks from the school!

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
2  seeder  Jasper2529    3 years ago

Seems that we are reinventing the wheel ... but in a healthy way.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Participates
2.1  Colour Me Free  replied to  Jasper2529 @2    3 years ago

I love this idea.. I am an adult with ADD .. my youngest son is Attention Deficit as well.  When he was in grade school, I met with his teachers, explained what they were up against - and the best ways I had found at home to bring his attention back to the task at hand .. he succeeded [NO drugs necessary]  his teachers said that they found that having the class stand up and do some stretching / walk around the room a bit before changing to a different subject .. helped the entire class stay focused.... extra recess is good for all students..

Now as a young adult (17) he is finding out what works best for him .. he will be a senior this fall, has a job working for a local radio station running the sound board .. is in a techie running lights for the school productions.  (not so) Lil man has found a place where his attention deficit works for him, he can think outside the box to get things done

I think it is important that 'we' stop drugging 'our' children and telling them that a pill will make them normal (whatever that is) 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
2.1.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Colour Me Free @2.1    3 years ago
he succeeded [NO drugs necessary]  his teachers said that they found that having the class stand up and do some stretching / walk around the room a bit before changing to a different subject .. helped the entire class stay focused.... extra recess is good for all students..

Any kind of diversion is helpful, even if it's only stretching and walking around the classroom. Little children, especially, don't have long attention spans ... even when they don't have ADD or ADHD.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Participates
2.1.2  Colour Me Free  replied to  Jasper2529 @2.1.1    3 years ago
Little children, especially, don't have long attention spans ... even when they don't have ADD or ADHD.

So true .. and honestly one cannot force other to pay attention, there has to be stimuli that draws in an individuals attention - that in my opinion is what makes a good teacher .. even as a 50+ year old adult, I remember the teachers that got my attention and were able to teach me lessons I still remember..

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
3  seeder  Jasper2529    3 years ago

Feel free to share your experiences of unstructured recess time when you were young. What did you and your classmates do? Did those activities help you focus better when you returned to class?

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
4  charger 383    3 years ago

makes sense, kids bodies are growing too. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
Masters Expert
4.1  XDm9mm  replied to  charger 383 @4    3 years ago

As is often said, youth (and the accompanying energy levels) is wasted on the young.

I wish there was a way to bottle some of that energy and sell it as the proverbial elixir of the fountain of youth.

 
 
 
Release The Kraken
PhD Principal
5  Release The Kraken    3 years ago

Maybe if we didn't treat ADHD with pure speed they wouldn't need so much recess. 

Adderall may be the best cleaning agent on the planet!  Take one, clean every inch of the house, the neighbors house then start picking up the local park.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
Masters Expert
5.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Release The Kraken @5    3 years ago

Yeah...  I never could figure out the rational behind that.   As you said, they're effectively giving speed to a kid to calm him/her down.

 
 
 
Release The Kraken
PhD Principal
5.1.1  Release The Kraken  replied to  XDm9mm @5.1    3 years ago

Every parent who hands that to their kid should take the first dose. It's Amphetamine HCI. It's better and more pure than street speed. Then get ready to clean! Just don't ever give that to a child no matter what the More Degrees than a Thermometer Idiot says!

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Expert
6  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu     3 years ago

LOL .. I never grew out of needing breaks. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, I do better if I take a break from it from time to time. On big tasks I have "Built in breaks" even. It adds to my efficiency and long term engagement capabilities. However, once I start something, I almost always finish it.

So Hell Yeah children do better with breaks... who doesn't ? 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
7  seeder  Jasper2529    3 years ago

You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
8  Kathleen    3 years ago

Wish they had that when I was in elementary. : )

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Masters Participates
8.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Kathleen @8    3 years ago

Your school didn't give children a recess period?

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
8.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Jasper2529 @8.1    3 years ago

They did, but once and short.

 
 
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