Day 170 (of 186) don’t cancel recess

Day 170 (of 186) don’t cancel recess

It’s an easy trap to fall into. If learners aren’t being successful in a particular subject area, it can be easy to want to remove a preferred activity. The usual is math. And a suggestion was to keep some struggling mathematicians in during recess or lunch.

The key time for some de-regulation. Movement. Social activity. If we take that away….will things get better?

Perhaps if it’s a behavioural issue. I like behavioural problems. Offer a reward for a task and things get rolling. But when it’s a mental wellness/learning condition…that’s trickier. Taking one thing away won’t make things better. It makes more things worse.

One of my big take away from us on “the Finnish” model of 45 work and 15 break is that the 15 minute break (or saved by the bell) is an important aid in making a transition. My kids have learned (behavioural training perhaps) that they can get frustrated in a topic and the consequence is not struggling with more of the same. If anything a consequence is going to be connected to the subject area/time.

When I coached, I always hated when colleagues would threaten athletes with removal of participation on the team if they did not complete tasks. I was always tempted to pull a kid out of an academic class because they weren’t performing proper tackling technique right and they needed to do more of it.

Or when kids were sent to my library for a time out: “sit and so nothing” doesn’t jive with me unless it’s a “boredom break” ™. Or even worse – overdue book = copying from dictionary.

I’m (surprisingly?) more okay with kids getting moved from gym to the library to do something futile such as copying out a sports rules because at least is connected to the topic (parallel activity even if it’s not great – if at least creates time and space to rethink and replay).

But mental work can be hard. I’ve been as tired from a day of heavy thinking as I have with a day of heavy lifting.

So…imagine spending a chunk of time in a zone of frustration and then instead of getting a break and a chance to hit a ball in the gaga pit or talk to person x, you stay behind to continue the frustration. As I say to my kids: I’m okay with you getting frustrated but I’m not okay with you staying frustrated.

And breaks like recess are important. And I may have over-shared then as I am now why I won’t entertain keeping kids in for “more of the same” as the educating adult, I need to do different(iated) next time.

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About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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