Comet Times

L.O. Donald Staff Newsletter

The Case for Recess

Children need recess. It benefits every aspect of childhood development. At Donald, we give our students recess because:

  1. Our brain learns best with breaks after periods of sustained concentration. To effectively process information and commit it to memory, children need unstructured breaks.
  2. Recess increases focus. Self-control is not an unlimited resource. The unstructured play of recess refills those reserves. Many studies have found that children return from recess more attentive, more productive, and better able to learn.
  3. It reduces stress. Recess is an opportunity to expend energy in a healthy, suitable manner. Outside, children can engage in behavior—loud, messy and boisterous—considered unacceptable indoors.
  4. Recess develops social skills. During this unstructured play children practice social skills such as negotiation. Recess may be the only time during the day when children have an opportunity to experience socialization and real communication.
  5. Physical activity feeds the brain. Movement increases the capacity of blood vessels in the brain. This expedites the delivery of oxygen, water and glucose (“brain food”), optimizing the brain’s performance (and learning.)

Despite knowing the benefits, many of us still use recess as a reward or punishment. Denying students recess reduces their ability to learn both the academic and social lessons we strive to teach. In addition to losing the benefits above, denying students recess harms them through:

  • Brain-Drain. Without recess, children lose the opportunity to rebuild their reserve of self-control and rest their mind. They return from “sitting out” less able to focus on learning, more stressed, and with less self-control.
  • Class-“mates.” Children who are denied recess lose the opportunity to practice social skills, make new friends, and connect with their classmates.
  • Teacher-Love. When teachers take away recess, they undermine their relationship with that student causing the student to be less likely to listen to the teacher or care about what their teacher has to say.
  • Behave Better. Being left out of recess doesn’t help a child understand what s/he did wrong, and more importantly, doesn’t help him or her learn how to make it right the next time. The correct or replacement behavior should be taught as close to the moment of the inappropriate behavior as possible.

Let’s commit to providing our students the best environment for success by meeting their academic, physical, social and emotional needs. Thanks for all you do every single day to make our students successful! You are the difference-makers!


Big image

K-2 M-O-Y ISIP Testing Window 1/6-27/2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • 8:30-2:30 PK field trip
  • 2;00-2:30 Intergovernmental Affairs meeting - V. Davis & K. Carter
  • 3:20-4:00 Special Education PLC - M. Cavazos, V. Davis, N. Hagler, A. McMillian, M. Molina, L. Terry, E. Tolleson, K. Carter

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • 8:30-2:30 Kinder field trip
  • 12:10-12:55 Math Planning - 3rd grade
  • 1:00-1:45 Math Planning - 4th grade
  • 1:00-5:00 Districtwide Principals' meeting - K. Carter

Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • 8:30-2:30 Kinder field trip
  • 8:50-9:40 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - 2nd grade
  • 9:45-10:35 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - Kindergarten
  • 10:40-11:30 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - 1st grade
  • 12:05-12:55 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - 3rd grade
  • 1:00-1:50 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - 4th grade
  • 1:55-2:45 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - 5th grade
  • 3:15-4:00 After-School Tutoring
  • 3:15-4:45 Girls Scouts in the auditorium
  • 6:00-7:00 PTO Meeting (tentative)

Friday, January 22, 2016

  • 11:20-12:00 PLC Lesson Plan Feedback - Pre-K


  • 1/28 Kimball Feeder Principals' meeting 9am-12pm
  • 1/29 Parent Lunch
  • 2/2 Practice STAAR & Common Assessments - Reading
  • 2/3 Practice STAAR & Common Assessments - Math
  • 2/4 Practice STAAR - Writing & Science
  • 100 Days of School!
  • 2/5 DDI 3rd-5th grades

L.O. Donald 2015-16 Campus Priorities

  • Improve academic achievement through data-driven and small group instruction.
  • Build a strong, achievement-oriented campus culture.
  • Improve parent involvement and school-community relationships.

L.O. Donald Elementary

Committed to preparing 100% of students for college

L.O. Donald 2015-16 Goals

  • 80% of students will meet the passing standard on STAAR reading/math in grades 3-5.
  • 70% of students will meet the passing standard on STAAR writing in grade 4.
  • 85% of students will meet the passing standard on STAAR science in grade 5.
  • 80% of students will perform on or above grade level on the Iowa/Logramos K-2