Recess is really important in Elementary Schools, here is why

Kids around the country get a whole 15 minutes to rest right after lunch. Most parents and kids would agree that this is barely enough time to even get out the door and back. Parents have been increasingly asking themselves if their kids are getting enough time off, and it turns out they aren’t.

Both the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play and  the National Association for Sport and Physical Association agree that more should be done to promote physical activities at school. Even the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree to this too.

Recess is really important in Elementary Schools, here is whyThere are a ton of noticeable benefits of offering kids in school a longer recess. They get a chance to play, which is the only form of exercise for a lot of kids at this age. They also get to develop relationships. The social aspect of getting to play with kids your age is very beneficial and helps a child develop emotionally over the long-term.

Most parents have adequate breaks in their own workday. Working at a desk in an office is comparable to sitting in a classroom for long hours. But adults are more adapted to this environment than kids. Despite this, breaks at work are often longer than those offered at school.

We must turn to the scientific research in this field to figure out if there is an ideal amount of time kids must get to rest in between classes. It turns out there isn’t, but most experts agree that at least some time is necessary to keep kids engaged at elementary school.

Experiments have shown that kids that get longer recesses and enough time to play outside, often get more benefits than just the physical exercise. They are less likely to fidget in the class and generally behave much better after some time in the sun. Most kids observed in studies showed signs of losing focus in class if their recess was somehow postponed or cancelled.

Some of the largest studies have said that a minimum of 15 minutes is surely needed to help kids recharge their enthusiasm and get back to work in the classroom. Typically kids are likely to have attention spans of 30 minutes or less, which means the rest of the day needs to be structured around this too.

Most kids tend to chose running around and playing games during recess and a lot of them simply rest, both of which are equally beneficial, it seems. The sense of freedom, getting to choose what to do instead of being told by teachers what must be done, is surprisingly beneficial too.

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A New Show for Maple Woods Elementary Schools in America

Bank of America has a new show that they want to take to all the elementary schools in the country this year. The live show is called “New Kid” and is on stage every Tuesday and Thursday for kids across the country. Many of them have had standing ovations from families and the kids have been really enthusiastic about getting to know cast members.

A New Show for Maple Woods Elementary Schools in AmericaSyracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama produce the show every year and it changes every fall. Open to the public, the shows are always targeted at elementary school students.

There is, however, only one show open to the public each year and this year it is being performed at November 7th in Archbold Theater.

This time the show has a unique story that the kids seem to appreciate. The main arc is based on Nick, who is from a fictional country that speaks English. He wants to move away from his Homeland and settle in America, where people speak gibberish. If you haven’t guessed it yet, the show is about Nick’s struggle to adjust to a new country and new customs. It’s about immigration.

SU students play three of the other characters, which include Nick’s mom, a high school bully and a girl who befriends him. The lead character is played by someone who moved from Australia to Pittsburgh as a young kid. Cheech Manohar says the play reflects what he experienced as a foreigner too. He now tries to balance schoolwork with his time on stage.

Other actors say the play is remarkably consuming. It involves nearly constant travelling and they have to wake up very early in the morning which is a task. But what keeps them going is the message the play is trying to send out. It is trying to teach kids that they must not judge someone the very first time they see them. People from different backgrounds may be hard to understand, but there is much to learn from them if they take the time.

Promoting tolerance and preventing prejudice is seen as the ultimate goal. Most of the people involved in production see it as a timely message that can be applied to the broader public as well as those in elementary school.

Many of the kids say they feel like the play shows how life in school can be sometimes. Some kids even reported being bullied before the show came around. Though the topic may be hard hitting, the play delivers the message cleverly. There is a lot of humor in the storyline and an upbeat soundtrack to keep the plot going.

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How Does The United States Stack Up Internationally In Education?

The state of education across the world is something almost everyone has an interest in either directly or indirectly. The level of education in a country tends to determine the quality of the labor force over the long-term and may well be an indicator of future progress for a nation.

Parents living somewhere may also be keen on finding out how the education system stacks up against schools abroad, while making a decision on where to settle down and start a family.

That’s where the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development comes in. Every few years, the organization conducts exams and publishes a Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) list based on its results.

The students are selected by their countries and are 15 years old at the time of the test. The most recent study published in 2012 saw the rise of many Asian countries to the top of the list. Singapore topped at number 1, while Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea made up the top five. Finland, which ranked first for many years, was now at 15th.

How Does The United States Stack Up Internationally In Education?

So how well did the United States, the largest economy in the world do? Not so good.

The U.S. ranked 26th on the list, which was just below the Slovak Republic and the OECD average.

That’s a horribly low score and many have argued that the results are not comparable between countries. The OECD admits that the tests are not seen as representative of the overall educational system and measure only reading, maths and science knowledge.

Experts argue that many parents in Asian economies pressure their kids to learn to the test as social factors make excelling at school a priority. Cultural factors that come with being a small nation that is prosperous is also suggested as the reason for many western European countries outperforming the average.

In the United States, the reason for a poor score could be the massive population and the different educational systems in each state. It may be argued that the country doesn’t have an educational system, but 51 different systems. In this case there are several variables that affect the score for each state. Poverty was a very striking element of educational quality in some states and it was found that the wealthier states were more likely to have more segregated schools than others.

According to experts, there is a need for more accountability from elementary schools in the country, which could help explain the performance of each state and improve the quality of education over the long-term. Models tested under the Bush and Obama administration have seen success in states like Florida and Texas, and this may be expanded out to the whole country in a few years.

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A Case For Teaching Peace to Elementary Students

The trickle of headlines of rising needs for mental healthcare is getting heavier. The news would have you believe that students in schools are very afraid, especially after the Paris attacks last week. The diversity of some communities is being reflected in a growing divide in our schools.

Kids are said to be at risk of growing anxiety and stress at school. Many lack resilience as per the media.

The need for emotional competency cannot be denied. But our public system has tried to tackle this issue by hiring guidance counselors in elementary schools to aid teachers and administrators in ‘social learning’.

The process of social learning is meant to help a child at school be more at peace. To understand the feelings of others and be more aware of their actions. Kids, according to the experts need to be taught how to cope with the emotional stress of growing up if they are to ever do well academically.

Students are taught how to deal with the embarrassment of speaking in public or the angry remarks their parents make. The classes are meant to help them cope with loneliness and depression.

A Case For Teaching Peace to Elementary Students

The issue, it seems, is not about what the kids are going through or the problems they face, but how well they can solve it. The ability to face adversity and rise above it is seen as a sign of emotional intelligence that can lead to healthy human development.

As the country grapples with issues about security and widespread violence, the next generation must be trained to handle the stress and rise above it. When President Obama denounced the mass shootings, he was dismayed at the fact that these shooting were becoming a sort of ‘norm’.

A thorough character education in schools is expected to help students even out the extreme responses to positive and negative events in their lives. They are taught to slow down and think about consequences of their actions. Teachers are equipped to help foster empathy and social cohesion in the classroom.

Studies have shown that teaching such emotional and social skills help students with better outcomes in their lives after they leave school and pursue their respective careers. Besides this, academic performance was also noticeably up in students who had received such training as against those who had not. It also showed that school students who rated highly for sharing and cooperation in kindergarten were less likely to receive public assistance in adulthood and less likely to end up in the juvenile detention system.

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