Option 2: Our classes are 49 minutes in length. I could tell students that they have to work steadily for 22 minutes, then they get a 5 minute break and then they have to go back to work for the other 22 minutes.
- Positive reinforcement. Hopefully, this will give the students something to work towards.
- Especially since SO MANY of my students have ADHD, having a brain break might be helpful to them.
- If it works, we can get through more if they know that they have to be focused for 22 minutes. What I’ve found is that certain things that would take me 10 minutes to do take them the full 49. Not because of cognitive issues, but because they are unfocused and distracting/able.
- I worry about the time it will take to re-focus them after that 5 minute break. Even after they “get the hang” of it, I’m not sure how productive the second 22 minutes would be. (However, I am open to them surprising me.)
- Getting buy-in. I mean, they already goof off and don’t really care about their grades enough to focus on their work now, so why should they start? I don’t know that they will even take my offer to be focused in exchange for a measly 5 minutes of a break.
I’ve done something like this before. You’d be surprised by how kids will buy into it. They appreciate being treated like human beings. It’s definitely worth a try because you’re probably already losing at least 5 minutes of instructional time dealing with interruptions. And you would be teaching them a life skill - focus.
When I did this I gave the students more frequent breaks at first. Then I challenged them to work longer and longer stretches. In the beginning they could only maintain their attention for 15 minutes tops. By the end of the year I could expect them to work on their own for at least 40 minutes - sometimes they would ask to skip their break to keep working. But the good thing about breaking every 15 minutes was it reminded me to change up our activities often; it made me teach better.
Let us know what you decide to do.
that awkward moment when you were invited out for drinks with other teachers but instead of going you just park outside the bar because you’re too nervous to go in until you finally just give up and go home
I went after school today. It was just the CTE and PE teacher. We talked. We drank. It was nice.
I have to write 4 application essays for a master’s program.
PLZ BAN ME FROM TUMBLR.
JUST UNTIL TOMORROW.