Here are some more essays written by third-grade students at Springfield Estates Elementary. Although the students were given a handful of topics to write about, the most popular by far was, “What I Would Change about School.”

Due to its popularity, I am including several essays on that topic, followed by a bit of advice for the New Year in the form of student opinions on “What Makes a Good Friend.”

Estella M. writes,

I would change the recess time from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Recess goes fast when we’re outside because it’s only 20 minutes. If it were 40 minutes, we would have a lot more fun time, and I like fun.

Patrick P. writes,

School is a thing that most kids don’t like. Now, we all know that kids have come up with excuses for school, like the “I’m really sick” trick or the “I was on vacation” lie. If I had to change something about school, it would have to be the time.

I would make school only four hours long. Everything else, I would leave the same because that is what school is. And I would never change anything about that, and I hope you would not either.

Adam S. writes,

There are reasons we shouldn’t have homework. The first reason is we should be able to spend family time. The second reason is we learn everything in school. And the third reason is we should be able to relax and play when we go home. Also, my dad had no homework when he was a kid or anyone on his side of the family.

Nicolas F. writes,

I would make it longer recess for the third grade because they use a bit of time running to the blacktop, monkey bars or playground. I would also make it so on Friday, kids would leave 30 minutes earlier than when they are dismissed because Friday is before their two-day weekend, and that’s when kids have fun.

Justin K. writes,

I would change the tests so we could be different than other schools, and we would learn other things than other schools. We could be ahead of other schools, or we could be behind. Since we don’t want to be behind, we could study one grade higher than them, so we could really be smart for our grade!

We can make our own junior high school and high school, so we can study with our own friends here until we are seniors.

Now, here is some advice on how to be a good friend in the New Year.

Annabelle L. writes,

A good friend makes friends special gifts. The thing that is very important is the way you act to them. If you start to become greedy, you will probably notice people are trying to avoid you. A great friend keeps an eye on you and keeps you on their side.

Jeffrey E. writes,

Here are some reasons on how to be a good friend. First, if you want to be a good friend, you will play with them. Like in recess, they will play games with you. Second, they help me when I’m down, like when I’m hurt on the playground. Last, when they are a partner when I don’t have one. Then we play games. Those are my reasons on how to be a good friend.

Nali H. writes,

If you are a great friend, what should you do? Well, here is some advice. You could help your friend and care for them. You could respect them by being nice, kind and not interrupting them. You could be fair, and you could share. You could want to make a friend trust you that you are honest. And say nice things. So those are reasons you could be a great friend.

Here’s to longer recess, no homework and spending time with great friends in 2010!

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 19 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

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