Running Away From Recess

Recess is the time where children build the best friendships. It all starts with a simple compliment and then they become best friends. Recess was the time numerous of us waited for anxiously while sitting in math class. Most importantly, recess was the time where we were able to be ourselves and finally relax.

In the article "The Rebirth of Recess," by Nicholas Day, it is discussed how recess is being taken away from kids thinking it's beneficial to do so considering their grades in math and writing but in reality, it is causing more harm than good. Day discusses how states, counties, schools and even individual classrooms are taking away recess times from children. He further discusses behavioral and focus issues when recess time is taken away from them. Lastly, Day goes over how the brain works for children and how these short breaks can improve grades. Nicholas Day does a marvelous job of making an argument for recess and he reinforces it with the use of logos and pathos. Though there wasn't enough of the use of ethos, Day managed to keep his argument stable.

When it comes to Nicholas Day making the audience feel emotion, he does an excellent job of using pathos. He takes the audience back in time at the beginning of the article with "Every schoolchild who's ever squirmed in his seat, anxious for recess to arrive, can sympathize with students in Chicago"(Day). This quote could bring memories to the readers and could even drive them to sympathize with the children that won't have the same fond memories they do about recess time and making new friendships. The emotion could have been what encouraged Day to write the argument in the first place, it is helpful that plenty of people reading the article would most likely be able to relate to the quote.

Along with the use of pathos, Nicholas Day also does an excellent of using plenty of logos and solid facts to reinforce his argument and make it more effective. We see multiple examples of these facts, for example, when he said: "A major study in Pediatrics found that children with more than 15 minutes of recess a day were far better behaved in class than children who had shorter recess breaks or none at all"(Day). The quote itself is effective because it gets the audience to start thinking about how not giving kids these breaks promotes a higher chance of them misbehaving which leads them not learning to the potential they should be. The misbehavior also takes away more learning time than what would be wasted if the children would've had free time in the first place. Just like that statistic from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Day uses more evidence to successfully support his claim throughout the article.

Although Nicholas Day does a wonderful job in using logos and pathos, he arguably does a poor job with the use of ethos and hitting both sides of the recess argument to make it in a way that does not imply biased. In the article, Day uses the quote from the former Atlanta superintendent saying "We are intent on improving academic performance. You don't do that by having kids hanging on the monkey bars." (qtd in Day) Although there is some truth to the quote, Day does not talk about how the principals are right up to a point, instead, he continues to state how they are wrong which puts some sense of bias. Day perhaps has very strong views on recess and doesn't believe it should be shortened or taken away for any reason, but it makes his argument weaker than what it would've been if he had discussed both sides of the debate.

Overall, I do agree with Nicholas Day's argument on recess not being taken away. As a teenager, I am not able to concentrate in my classes if I don't have any sort of break. That being said, I can't even imagine what it's like for a child in elementary school to have no choice but sit still for hours at a time and to take in all the information being presented to them. Additionally, I believe it is heartbreaking how kids don't have the time to be themselves outside and create new relationships with the classmates around them, like various others and I did during recess. I am convinced that it is important to give children short breaks throughout their school day due to the stress reliever fifteen minutes can become for children that were stuck in a small classroom for a long period of time. Besides all of this, I believe recess is an excellent time to give children the chance to become creative which can lead to more success during instructional time.

Nicholas Day is able to use solid facts to make his article effective but rarely does he explain why the principals of the schools have some truth to having little to no time of recess. By not doing this, it makes the author sound biased and it establishes the argument weak to a point. The majority of us had the privilege to have recess time during our school day, but today kids are sitting anxiously in their classes, ready for at least a few minutes to relax their minds. Unfortunately, their teachers and principals are denying them that time as a result of them not mastering the topic being taught to them, such as math or even writing. Even though they have more time to learn the subject, they are becoming more frustrated and anxious that they are not able to concentrate and at the end of the day they still were not able to master the subject. This is the life of countless children now because principals and the school districts have us running away from recess.


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