On High Quality Recess


Effective, fall 2019 a daily, the NJDOE is requiring a daily 20-minute recess block for all students K-5. See below for a bite-sized breakdown of the K-5 regulations. This is nothing new for #BullockES since recess is already a part of our daily schedule; however, it is a wonderful opportunity to take our current recess routines and the integration of #EverdaySEL to new heights!

See below for a breakdown of the K-5 recess requirements, and for my point of view on how to get the most out of recess through the application of games, creative/free play, student choice & our SEL activities.

  • All schools must provide a daily 20-minutes recess block, that shall be held outside whenever feasible.
  • No student shall be denied recess, except in the case of a violation of the school’s code of conduct.
  • No student shall be denied recess more than twice per week for a violation of the school’s code of conduct. Further, the student shall be provided a restorative activity during recess with the goals of improving the social-emotional and behavioral responses of the student.

What makes a quality recess?: There is no shortage of research on how physical activity impacts brain functioning (see the info-graphic above), but as we all know…fun, safe and active play doesn’t just happen. In other words, it’s up to US to plan for and model what we expect play to look like at #BullockES. This will ensure that our students not only benefit cognitively, but through a social-emotional lens as well. Keep reading to see what the CDC & SHAPE America consider to be three essential components of QUALITY recess…and share some strategies you plan on implementing this fall via social media, email or during a Chat & Chew session.

  • Map out the playground to designate specific areas of play.
  • Include roleplays that support conflict resolution, equipment safety & routines for specific games/activities.
  • Create opportunities for student choice and FULL participation by offering a variety of specific activities – some structured & led by an adult, some unstructured.

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