While, I don’t agree with cancelling recess, I do applaud this school’s initiative to add a study skills class to get students ready for high school. Setting clear expectations about high school – how it is different from middle school and the study commitment that will be required – makes sense for everyone. However, there are other options than cutting recess to make room for this study skills, science and math time:
1) Have a two-week summer intensive on these three skills.
2) Have a required summer reading list where middle school students learn to read, take notes and write essays.
3) Have after school enrichment programs to help the students who struggle in these areas so that they can be more effective.
Middle school and high school students are bored if they are not involved in class, moving around and burning energy. With proper exercise and exposure to the outdoors, they will lose weight, be more health conscious and be able to actually focus when they are in class.
Finally, we will have to work with many parents and high school teachers across the country to increase the amount of reading that is required at home among high school students. A recent survey showed that while American students are making gains in math learning, they are falling behind as readers. Make no mistake about it: students won’t be college ready if they don’t have reading skills. Once they get to college, they will be required to read and study three hours for every one hour of class. Without challenging themselves in high school to keep that pace, they will not be ready for college level work and the self-discipline required to be a lifelong learner.
More class, no recess
April 15, 2010
by Cristina Kumka
Rutland Middle School students won’t have recess, class times will be longer and there will be a mandatory extra help period beginning next school year.
School administrators and the Rutland School Board are backing a plan that will change students’ schedules at the start of the 2010-11 school year — one that includes eight-minute-longer classes and students taking core classes such as English, math and science at different times during the school week.
Other changes include the reduction of one core class a week, replaced by a 40-minute study skills and tutorial class to be taken by all students.
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