How to transform recreation into learning opportunities?

The importance of recess is often underestimated. While many think it is a key space for students to rest and exercise a bit (and it is), recess, as explained by the researcher Youki Terada in Edutopia , can also be an essential moment for the development of skills Social and emotional factors that can have an impact on the academic potential of students. Some researchers visited approximately 500 schools in the United States to detect what elements are used and what elements do not serve in school playgrounds where students experience recess The objective? Help educators understand recreation beyond physical activity. Based on this, a series of tips that help to understand school breaks in a different way are rescued.

Tip number 1: The questions

As already mentioned, a quality recess is not just for students to exercise. It is also an ideal time for them to learn to explore the emotional and social terrain. The experiences that occur at recess, such as team games or discussions between students, are, according to the research, “miniature” life experiences that lay the foundations for future success. To have a quality recreation, the study recommends that teachers ask reflective questions about participation and the level of empowerment that children have at recess. For example: Do children participate in a variety of fun, structured and unstructured games and activities? Do children choose the games they like? Are they getting along and using the recess to develop key social skills such as respect for shifts and conflict resolution? Can they operate with greater confidence without the regular intervention of an adult?

Tip number 2: Promote welfare

The role of the adult is not the only key in the classroom, it is also key in the recess. Teachers usually limit themselves to supervision and are present to avoid behavior problems or remember playground rules. However, this instance can also become a strategy to detect bullying and help curb the problem using certain language and encouraging positive behavior throughout the game. For example, if a student is excluded, teachers can intervene to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities. In this way, integration and respect are fostered. Why does this matter? Research suggests that a student’s psychological well-being can have a significant effect on academic achievement and long-term success and the playground is an opportunity to guarantee that well-being.

Tip number 3: Safety

Schools must ensure that each part of the school playground is in good condition. This includes things as small as a nut. An un restored space can damage the playground and create insecurity among students. Around this, establishments should ask themselves if the elements of the playground are well maintained if there are enough elements to encourage activity and play, and even if the things that endanger the safety of the students are under control. All these factors will allow students to enjoy the playground as they really like it. In addition, elements as simple as a jump rope or balls, increase the number of active children.

To this list of tips, researchers add the importance of using recreational time in an appropriate way. “Recess is not a break from learning,” says Youki in Edutopia. The affirmation is totally accurate and above all, vital to remember that recess, if done in an adequate way -re scathing those elements mentioned in the study-, are necessary and valuable opportunities for students to develop in multiple ways.