With the rise in students diagnosed and medicated for ADHD, this school seems to have found a pretty simple fix.
You’d think that most everyone could get behind a solution like this. The tree-huggers would love that it doesn’t involve pills. The health nuts would praise it for fighting obesity.
You’d almost have to be an ‘expert’ in academia’s ivory towers to oppose a solution so simple and obvious.
That, or else be deliberately rigging the system with the intention of sabotaging the academic success of boys. Because the solution to the spike in boys’ ADHD is ridiculously simple.
Let them run. No, really … that’s it.
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.
Source: Return To Now
It’s not just “play,” either.
It’s specifically UNSTRUCTURED play, where kids can be turned loose instead of funneled into activities that were organized for them. And yes… it’s better when the play is outside.
What are some of the benefits?
The CDC defines recess as “regularly scheduled periods within the elementary school day for unstructured physical activity and play.”
There has been a downward trend in time dedicated towards recess due to a belief that more time in the classroom results in better academic performance.
Other countries have demonstrated that academic achievement does not suffer – but improves – when including time for recess and physical education.
Benefits of Recess
Increased attentional focus
Decreased behavioral diagnoses (anxiety, ADHD, anger)
Improved creativity and social skill development
Source: Link Project
And with so many boys either medicated or dropping out of school early, this sounds like a solid alternative.
by Doug Giles
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