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More recess makes 'world of difference' in Chatty

CHATTANOOGA  While many Oklahoma school children get only one recess per day, students at Chattanooga Elementary School school district are getting four 15-minute recess periods each school day  and the change is making "a world of difference" in the classroom.

The school is now in its second year for students to have the four 15-minute recess breaks from reading, writing and arithmetic for all students in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth. There are approximately 130 students at the school out of a total district enrollment of 230 students.

The district's teachers and administrators report that the four recesses provide the students an opportunity to play outdoors and release pent-up energy, give teachers a break from the classroom and improve the learning environment in each classroom. The recess sessions are staggered about 50 minutes apart.

"My students are more attentive in the classroom," said first-grade teacher Sara Selcer.

"They are also much more creative since they are doing free play and not structured activities."

In addition to the four recesses, Chattanooga Elementary students are also engaged in a program in the classroom called Positive Actions in 15-20 minute sessions five times a week. Selcer said that those sessions teach functions similar to the recesses, such as problem solving and making positive actions.

The Lawton Constitution

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