I find myself looking at the clock more and more. Call it the constraint of 45 minute class periods. Call it the middle school urgency that seems to haunt my every move. That clock on the wall; yeah, it seems to be always leering. Yet lately it has been taking on a new role for me; no longer the reminder of how little time I have left to help these students grow, but now a reminder of how much time we still have. How much time we still have to talk. How much time we still have to share. How much time we still have to teach each other.
Why this change in perspective? I have just started giving my students 5 minutes. 5 minutes to discuss. 5 minutes to figure out. 5 minutes to prepare. It is indeed quite impressive how much can be accomplished in just 5 minutes.
5 minutes before the quiz, they review with each other. 5 minutes before the assessment, they speak to one another and compare notes. 5 minutes before the share with class, they share with a friend. Giving them those 5 minute means that my students are more confident, are less rushed, are more ready. Giving them those 5 minutes mean that I am forced to slow down and let them think, let them digest the learning, frame in their own words and then support each other.
I have no research to back me up. I have no test scores to show the difference, but what I see in front of me has sold me. Students who are ready. Students who are willing. Students with more confidence in their abilities. we are moving toward becoming a community of teachers, not just learners, 5 minutes a day.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.