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The Rightful Return of Recess

Did you see this headline earlier this week in the New York Times?!?

Recess is Making a Comeback in Schools

Recess, which has been squeezed out of so many school days, is starting to gain traction once again. Recess has become part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, and national organizations such as [...]

Fighting to reclaim kindergarten? Watch this video…then share it!

One of the best new resources I have seen is a powerful video by the Gesell Institute, The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Kindergarten.  The Gesell Institute of Human Development is a non-profit organization located on the Yale campus. Their seven and half minute video is a clear look at what works in [...]

Dear Michelle Obama:

The good news is, someone on the White House Task Force for childhood obesity was listening. This week, Michelle Obama sent an email releasing their report, and among the many recommendations, was restoring recess!

Recommendation 5.4: State and local educational agencies should be encouraged to promote recess for elementary students and physical activity breaks for [...]

Agents of change

Today I write about two unique opportunities. Your voice can help make this country a better place for children and play. First, as I’ve written recently, the Common Core Standards are now available for public comment at www.corestandards.org (until April 2nd). The current draft for kindergarten includes:

“Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to [...]

Recess (It’s not just for Congressmen.)

“I am so happy!” my son declared recently as he got off the school bus. What made him so happy that day? In a word:  recess. His class had gone outside to play.

So much is working against recess these days – with one major factor being the high stakes testing that came with No [...]

Alliance for Childhood’s press release on free play and obesity – A must read!

Alliance for Childhood released the following statement yesterday. Here they present compelling evidence and arguments in favor of recess and other unstructured free play opportunities for our children. This short piece is packed with current information and valuable resources for parents and professionals who are aiming to bring play back into the lives of our [...]

Playful learning is more than just Sight Word BINGO

This weekend my sons had four days off from school. They played and built; wrote thank you notes and get well cards; did some baking with their dad and helped clean the house. An excellent time all around.

I am worried tonight, though, because I know tomorrow will be tough for my two five-year-olds. Kindergarten [...]

NY Times article, "Bringing Girls into the Game"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/sports/15girls.html

This was a great article in today’s NY Times about programs designed to switch up some of the deep gender divides on the playground and in sports. I felt that some of the posted comments missed the boat, so of course I had to add my two cents:

“After reading these responses, I am [...]

Are we preparing children for life or for standarized tests?

Here is just one more way that NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and the current focus on high-stakes testing is hurting our kids…no more school visits from firefighters to teach fire safety. Unbelievable! Yesterday I met a firefighter-educator who can no longer visit schools. They just don’t have time for him, since what he is [...]