Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Alicia Stapp

Relational Format



In recent years, elementary schools across the United States have reduced the amount of time allocated for recess or have eliminated it altogether (Jarrett, 2002; Ramstetter et al., 2010). However, recess has the potential to offer significant academic, physical, and social benefits. These benefits have led to a vigorous and ongoing debate about the importance of recess in elementary schools (Ramstetter et al., 2010). Therefore, this study examined the effect of recess on students' time on-task in a fifth grade classroom. There were 12 participants in the study, six male and six female students. All participants were in the same fifth grade classroom at the same elementary school. Twelve observations were completed from September 12, 2016 - October 19, 2016 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Two 30-minute observations were completed each day. One 30-minute observation was immediately before recess and the other 30-minute observation immediately followed recess. Participants' on-task and/or off-task behaviors were documented in 5-minute intervals throughout each 30-minute observation to determine if recess increased or decreased time on-task. The findings suggest that providing fifth grade students with at least a 25-minute period of recess could increase students' time on-task in the classroom.



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