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Recess is an integral part of the school day where children are afforded the opportunity to create and organize games, socialize with their peers, and explore nature. When implemented effectively, recess has the potential to offer significant academic, physical, and social benefits (London, Westrich, Stokes-Guinan, & McGlaughlin, 2015). However, the amount of time allocated to recess in elementary schools across the United States has significantly declined over the past two decades. A reduction in play time can be attributed to increased educational mandates, which have lead to vigorous and ongoing debates about the important role recess plays in elementary schools. Thus, this quantitative study examined the effect of recess on fifth grade students’ time on-task in an elementary classroom. Participants on- and off-task behaviors were observed and documented on a task frequency chart prior to and after recess. Findings from the study indicated that providing fifth-grade students with daily recess significantly increased on-task behaviors in the classroom.
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