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Life is rarely an “all or nothing experience”. Yet schools often withhold recess as the be all and end all in disciplining elementary students. A better solution might be to consider intermediary steps to disciplining students in respect to playground difficulties.
As an elementary school principal, I found that playground supervisors chose severe consequences for students who had difficulties on the playground. Rather than taking recess away completely, we found that a better solution was to say, “I can see you are having trouble playing flag football today. In order for you to be successful, no football for the next week. On Monday, you can return to flag football at recess and we’ll see if you have a better week.”