In Recess We Trust

December 16, 2016

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At Kent School recess is a part of every student’s day, every day. Research shows that recess is an important part of the day for elementary school age children. Of course, recess provides a break from class work and a time for children and teachers to get some fresh air and exercise. But recess is much more than that. The playground is where spontaneous games develop. Rules are created, changed and then thrown away.

Recess is where children overcome fears bit by bit, on their own. Conquering the monkey bars or reaching out to grasp the fire pole are real, personal triumphs. Recess can be about unbridled creativity. Just watch a child work intensely on the creation of a fairy house or stick fort using only what they can find around them.

During recess children start to learn some life skills they will surely need as adults. They learn to negotiate. Only four people can play four square at a time but six want to play. They figure out how to take turns every five minutes so everyone has a chance. They learn to compromise. If the line for tether ball is too long, they move on to something else.

Recess is about choices and patience and sometimes recess is about empathy. We have all seen a child feel left out of a game or be the last picked for a team. We are never more fulfilled than when another student steps in with a pat on the back or some words of simple encouragement. Those gestures, however small, move a child from exclusion to inclusion.

Recess is how we all learn that it is important to walk away from the desk, the work, the phone and just go have some fun for a little while. As we look forward to a few days off during this hectic holiday season give yourself some recess each day. Run, play, be unbridled in your creativity. Support others, choose empathy and inclusion and certainly your recess will be time well spent.

Read more about why recess matters in the following articles

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/12/why-kids-need-recess/505850/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/31/yay-for-recess-pediatricians-say-its-as-important-as-math-or-reading/

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=39

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Recommended Reading for Winter Break

At Kent School we are committed to developing a child’s love of reading and writing. We think children should always be reading a book of their choice. If a child chooses a book and asks you to read to him or her, be flattered and enthusiastic about the opportunity to open their imagination and inspire curiosity. To guide you or your child, Kent School teachers and administrators have compiled a selection of titles for children of all ages and grade levels. Listed below are our top reading recommendations for the upcoming winter break. School may not be in session but that just means there is more time for READING!

Recommended Reading for Preschool through Grade 1

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean and Eric Litwin

 The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tommie de Paola

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

The Miracle Jar by Audrey Penn

Snowman at Night by Caralyn Buehner

Recommended Reading for Grade 1 through Grade 4

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Hatchet by Gary Paulson

Kringle by Tony Abbott

Recommended Reading for Grade 5 through Grade 8

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Kringle by Tony Abbott

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

A Wrinkle in Time by Madelaine L’Engle

Recommended Reading for Parents of Children from Preschool through Middle School

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlan

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor