Recess with a Different Interpretation The bell rings at 12:15 in Monument Valley Middle School. This is recess time for most of the 8th grade students, and it is not a time to be outside and run around, but to stay inside. Only a small portion of 8th grade students actually go outside during recess time. All of the other students stay inside, some students to finish or catch up on work, but mostly all other students to do nothing. “ During recess I do my best to get all my work done.” States Gracie O’Brien, 8th grade student. Some reasons for staying inside include the weather, no friends outside, and the boredom of the outdoors. “ I will go outside when it’s nice outside, but otherwise it’s just too cold and gross for me.” Kat Sirois, 8th grade student, comments. The small portion of “outsiders” think that going outside is important, and that all students should come outside and just run around. “ I think everybody should get out, because it helps people,” John Broderick, 8th student, says. Señor Heath, Monument Valley’s Spanish teacher, also agrees with the outsiders. “Recess is a time to recede from what we are doing and go outside and get fresh air,” he comments. For the students that aren’t getting fresh air, they have the choice to go into classrooms that are open for recess. Mr. Erickson, 8th grade math teacher and Mr. Heck, 8th grade English teacher, open their rooms for 8th grade students and Mrs. Kane, Monument Valley librarian, opens the library for 7th and 8th graders. Mr. Erickson opens his room because it’s the only time he can spend with students that’s not academically oriented. Many students use these rooms as a place to be, instead of outside, but some students don’t use the rooms. Out of the large population of “insiders”, there are a few students that don’t go into the English room, math room, or library. These students wander the halls, stay in the stairwell, or even stay in the bathroom. “I’ve seen them [students] wandering the hallways, in restrooms, going back and forth from the library, in the stairwell, or just sitting in the hallway,” Señor Heath comments. This has been an ongoing issue that has been occurring since the beginning of the school year. “It’s almost like some students make it [being in the halls] a game with the staff. ‘Where can I hide next before a teacher finds me?’ And all they want to do is play the game,” Vice Principal, Mrs Congdon said. She finds herself to be the person to try and solve the problem about students in the hallways. “I’m assigned to be the person to walk the halls and shoo them [students] away and tell them where to go nicely”. Señor Heath also tells students where to go. “I say [to the students] that its recess time, and you need to be outside, and I direct them to the doors if they forgot how to get outside." If going outside ever became mandatory, it would force all students outside, which would eliminate the hall wandering problems. “I wouldn’t necessarily be angry [if recess was mandatory] because I would know that the teachers were trying to get us to go outside, get fresh air, but me personally would rather get my work done,” Olivia Raifstanger, 8th grade student, explains. “I would deal with it, but it would be less desirable than staying inside,” remarked Gabby Thierling, 8th grade student. “Actually, it is mandatory for students to go outside during recess, but no 8th graders will actually go out,” Mrs. Congdon responded, “we [the staff] think that by 8th grade, though, students should have choices for where they want to be.” Even though it is mandatory for students to go outside, no one does it. This brings up some questions about the future of Monument Valley’s recess policy. Will the policy of everyone going outside to recess ever be enforced? Will eventually no one be outside during recess? Will recess ever go back to what it used to be, playing outside, running around, and getting fresh air?
April and May updates: Nature's Classroom, Peru, W.E.B.Dubois and the Jubilee School
March Updates: Jubilee School, W.E.B. DuBois, Hidden Figures, Fatima's Story, part 3, and a Cape Cod vacation.
January/February Writer's Voices and Blizzard Bag Poetry
Part Two of Life as a Refugee added!
December: Lip Sync Battle, Open Thought Productions, Art work and Food Drive.
November: Halloween, Interview, and more!
October: The NBA, Graffiti, Dinner time discussions and more...
Team Building, Video, and more!
YES projects from 8th grade
Opinions from 8th grade
Genius Hour Projects
Annie Jr. showtimes
Student Walk-out: photos, article, video
Genius Hour project: Racism
February holidays, adversity,musical.
A few holiday thoughts...
December notes Poems, songs and odd holidays.
Halloween at MVM, Window Painting, Peaceful protests, Penny Wars....
MV artwork by Arianna Mullen
The Switch: moving from 6th to 7th grade
(June 2017) Dress up Dance
JUNE: Twin Day, Searles and what's happening this month?
May: Mother's Day, Beauty, Field trips and more....
Foster Care: a slideshow by Maya HVS
Dreaming of vacation by Ann Onymous
Maisy's winning essay, Earth Hour, March Madness
Selma and Civil Rights
Spanish Exchange, Spotlight on Kyle, Gr. 5 Mrs. Ramsay presentations, talent show!
6th grade Entrepreneurs: Smelly Jelly
Grade 8 meetings, Peachy
12/22 MVM Updates.. Food Drive, Musical, Reflections, and a Study Guide
Lost and Found, and Searching.
Recess, Student Council Update, Hip Hop, Music Fest, and more....
Halloween Looms.... Apple Pie and Window Painting
Cave Art, ELA and Fall
Newest articles and opinions: Grade 6: changes are good!
Hike up Monument Mountain
Grade 5 readers
Do we need homework? Student Council Update, Semi-Formal Dance pictures, Butterflies and more.... Politics, Calendar update, and advice from a MVM alum.
Maker Space, Nature's Classroom, and more Calendar, Budget debate, Artist at work, National Penguin Day, and Parcc testing
Restorative Circles, and Willy Wonka
Popularity, Animal rights School lunches, 5th graders at dances, poetry, essays and more! 8th graders share their thoughts about recess and social media, 6th graders create 6-word stories, Aria's winning essay
Gym class, and Instagram: is it good for kids? Spain trip in June. Lots of new dodgeball pictures, and the pets bulletin board. Mackenzie Leach and the InvestWrite Award, Student Council Update, dodgeball photos.
Poetry, opinions, and dodgeball. Spring Musical, Animal rights, Honey Bees, MV Sports teams, school uniforms, and advisory time. Orchestra try-outs, What's so funny?
Before the Feb vacation: Socratic Seminars and SuperBowl... poems, Valentine's Grams, IPAC and more. Student Council, Grade 8 skits, Injustice or not? 80's Day in 7th grade: the results are in. Artwork from Darby Student Council, Survey, InvestWrite essays, and two fundraisers.
Overcoming Adversity, 7th grade 80's celebration, poetry, French market, new teachers, Comix, Orchestra Concert, Student Council update,