Must Have Mini Bites!

Yesterday I wrote about the great professional development site, Grovo, that offers 60 second training on all sorts of topics. I realize that I like Grovo because the training is offered in small chunks. My brain appreciates this! I can’t sit for more than 10 minutes before my brain starts to wander.

Most people can only sit for so-long before the brain begins to tire. So why is it that (some) professors lecture for 50 minutes non-stop? True, many students can pay attention longer than 10 minutes, but when presented with new material, we need to offer brain breaks.

A brain break is a short period of time when we offer a refresher to our brain by providing something different to think about. Allowing students to get up, stretch, visit, walk, etc. can even help refresh the brain to get back to work…and thinking.

Here is my suggestion – offer your students the content in mini-bites with small brain breaks. Here’s how:

  • Teach/lecture for 10 minutes
  • Offer a brain break
    • stand up and move
    • give a quiz or poll using PollEverywhere
    • pair/share…tell a peer what you learned in 1 minute, switch roles
    • play Kahoot for 2 minutes reviewing the content
    • ask a question, move around and tell 2 peers your answer
    • ask students to pull an item out of a bag and offer a way it could be reinvented. Tell 2 others.
    • be creative!…think of your own brain break
  • Teach/lecture for 15-20 minutes
  • Offer a brain break

Etc.! If you normally lecture for the full amount of time, teach like you normally do and ask your students to offer 3 things they learned and one question regarding the content in the form of an exit ticket (3×5 card is fine) before leaving class. Then, try the above technique. Teach 10, brain break for 2 min., teach 10, brain break…etc.  At the end of class, ask your students to offer 3 things they learned and one question regarding the content, again, in the form of an exit ticket. Is there a difference? You may or may not notice a difference in their responses – but note their enthusiasm. Are they leaving your room a little more rejuvenated?

I think your students will enjoy bite-sized learning and brain breaks!

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2 thoughts on “Must Have Mini Bites!

  1. Thank you Pamela,

    I so appreciate your emails with great ideas and resources! Will definitely incorporate the brain breaks!

    Thank you! Karen

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