Summer of Learning (2018) #5 the book “When“ by @danielpink the importance of time
Lunch…the most important meal of the day. Gordon Gekko May have said “Lunch is for wimps” but it’s what’s needed – even by many of us in education who laugh at the myth called “lunch break”. It research is showing it is an essential meal. And it needs to be more than “the sad desk lunch”
And this time needs two key ingredients: autonomy and detachment (and I groan as someone who more often than not is engaged throughout the day). But the brain needs time to synthesize…and be social.
While it is true that a well balanced breakfast is important to start the day, lunch can be even more important as learners prepare for the hardest part of the day for most people: the afternoon.
The morning has been full of thinking and moving and social interactions. After a few hours of this work (and thinking can be hard work!) the body and brain needs to be replenished!
We need to be more aware of cognitive fatigue.
Length of day is not as important as times/frequency of breaks.
One group found “golden ratio”of 52 minutes of work to 17 minute break (even if the “Finnish schedule” I use of 45/15 is easier to schedule…)
These are not just for the kids. Adults too!
1. Something beats nothing. Micro breaks are better than no breaks
2. Moving beats stationary (and five minute walks each hour were seen to have better impact than one 30 minute walk per day)
3. Social beats solo (checking email is a cognitive break but not social engagement!)
4. Outside beats inside (even a room of plants is better than a room without nature)
5. Fully detached beats semi detached (despite what we think, 99% of us are not effective multitaskers)
And remember afternoon naps? There’s a reason kids need them….and maybe more of us do too…. naps act like zambonis – they smooth out the nicks and scrapes of the day and increase alertness and reaction time. And the sweet spot: naps between 10 and 20 minutes. 5 mins does nothing and after 20 there is grogginess (though 30-90 minute naps can be good for the bodies, they do take up a lot of time)
And as a bonus to me….a nappachino was most effective as it takes caffeine 20 mins to hit the system, coffee with a 15 minute nap can be a very good thing….!
Siesta meant taking a snooze at the sixth hour after dawn….so early afternoon….might’ve been reasons for those afternoon breaks (in other words it’s not about being lazy) the Mayo clinic suggests between 2-3pm
Group activities can also be useful. Choral singing was given as an example as being better for our well being than singing solo AND may be as positive as physical exercise!
Appreciate in @DanielPink When book that while early start times of schools may be convenient for adults (especially since schools began with the agrarian calendar AND clock (sunrise = late start for work) it’s not so good for learning –
@danielpin book When mentions “sluggishness” in ‘middle times’ reminded me when a colleague grew frustrated with giving time for kids to work and them all doing it at the last minute. I suggested assigning things “for tomorrow” and then looking at how the “time” may be better used
Or when things have gotten “off track” during a PLC, I trusted the process of professional educators refocusing and re-energizing in order to do great things. Maybe the “unused time” has benefits as it allows the brain to percolate and then reach an “uh-oh – gotta get done” mindset
I like this one as to why we need groups….but not necessarily group projects…
“Belongingness, they found, profoundly shapes our thoughts and emotions. Its absence leads to ill effects, its presence to health and satisfaction.”
My final takeaway has been:
Timing of things and events – including start and end times – are artificially set but so often seem so entrenched. Don’t be afraid to look at ways time + learning may be done better….