A school in Texas has tried something groundbreaking with its students--and the idea is paying off.
The Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been giving kindergarten and first-grade students a whopping FOUR periods of recess every day. The kids head outside to play for two 15-minute breaks every morning and two 15-minute breaks every afternoon. And while teachers were first worried about losing all that the classroom time, they now say the kids are actually learning more, because they're better able to pay attention in class when it is time to sit still.
"There was a part of me that was very nervous about it," said first-grade teacher Donna McBride told Today. "I was trying to wrap my head around my class going outside four times a day and still being able to teach those children all the things they needed to learn."
But now, five months into the experiment, McBride's students are listening more attentively and following directions better, and she's dealing with fewer discipline issues. Parents also say they've noticed their kids being better behaved at home, as well.
"You start putting 15 minutes of what I call 'reboot' into these kids every so often and… it gives the platform for them to be able to function at their best level," said professor Debbie Rhea, who is working with Eagle Mountain Elementary and other schools to increase the amount of physical activity and playtime during the school day.
The lesson for all of us? Perhaps the best way to help kids learn is to give them time to simply be kids.
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