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posted: Tue, Nov 21st, 2017

The hard work behind play

Fourth- and fifth-graders recently learned that planning recess isn’t all fun and games. The students were given the responsibility of researching recess activities and making recommendations on the ones that should be run during the remainder of the school year. 

Lunch/recess supervisors first examined and compiled a list of 25 popular games. One activity was assigned to a group of six to eight students. The groups had about two hours to investigate the activities and create Powerpoint presentations or posters that listed the pros and cons. The groups presented their findings that same day to a panel of teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.

Kickball, Frisbee golf, bean bag toss, Funnel ball, Earth ball, and GaGa ball were just a few of the activities that were researched. 

The students also were given graph paper and were charged with not only recommending activities but placing those recommended activities on the Mountain View property. Consideration was given, as well, to activities that could be run indoors in the multipurpose room and gym in the event of inclement weather. 

In education, you frequently hear about project-based learning that simulates activities done in real life. Well, you can’t get much more real than this. Students researched, collaborated, planned, presented, and used their critical thinking skills to make decisions that actually had an impact on themselves and their classmates.

The student recess project comes just after the school has finished the installation of new playground equipment and expanded the amount of available recess space. The Board of Education and the PTA have allocated funds to improve the playground area and add items in the future such as ADA compliant swings, wheelchair access, and park benches.

“The most neglected part of the school day is recess and it’s one of the moment important,” said Dr. Frank Fischel, school principal. “Students need the space to have fun, recharge, and refresh. Our recess areas should provide stations for different activities so that as many children as possible can participate with little to no wait time. In the bigger picture, learning to enjoy the outdoors and staying active is critical for lifelong health.”

PTA donors have contributed $1,500 for buying the equipment and supplies for the new recess activities, some of which have already been ordered.

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Mountain View School
118 Cloverhill Drive Flanders, NJ 07836
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