How Long Does Recess Last?

I had a student today who was telling me that I might as well not give him homework. He told me that he didn't mind doing his work during recess but that he would always lose whatever I sent home so I might as well save the copy and just have him do it during recess. Enjoying his logic I reminded him that if he would just do it at home he would get his recess everyday.

He then asked me a question, one of those questions that I love, he said "how long should it take me to do my homework each night?"

"20-30 minutes."

"How long is recess?"

"15 minutes..."

"That's why I do my work here, I get more time to play."

Now to figure out how to make him care about his homework enough to do it at home, as I design it to be done there while he is interacting with his parents. His reasoning is smart. It tells me that I need to do a better job planning homework to be meaningful. And it tells me that I am somehow a teacher who uses recess as the ultimate form of punishment, it's nice when a student sees recess for what it is.

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