At the outset of this post I need to tell you: I’m not going to explain the history and process of this method. For a more in depth discussion of this method look up howstuffworks.com or the image below sums up the strategy well.
What I want to do here is explain the basic process as seen above then give you a way to use it in any learning space.
The Pomodoro Method starts with writing down a list of things you want to do then prioritizing the to dos and determining how long it’ll take you to complete the tasks. As you start working on each task you set a timer for twenty five minutes. You work on a task for that twenty five minutes. After the twenty five minutes has elapsed you take a five minute break. You can do this up to four times; after the forth Pomodoro, you break for ten to fifteen minutes. Then you can repeat the process.
You can use this same process in the classroom. My school works on 88 minute blocks. Set the 25 minute timer at the start of class and instruct your class they are to work with high levels of focus and concentration. After 25 minutes take a f five minute break. Then repay the process. After the second five minute break ask students to finish the last 20 minutes or so with a final surge of concentrated work.
If students finish their work, ask them to review their work to commit it to memory or keep working to improve the work they’ve done.
From this process, students learn to use a combination of concentrated thinking and diffuse thinking. Barbara Oakley teaches us this concept in MINDSHIFT. She says that you get the best out of your learning when you combine the two thinking activities (see my review of the book).
Students know that once they start working there is only a matter of thing they’ll get a break. So coaching them to work hard during the 25 minute stretches is more attainable because they’ll have a break coming up shortly. Psychology it eases the pressure of needing to think deeply for an entire 88 minutes. Additionally, it teaches students a nice working process for concentrated effort to use when they are doing work independently away from the learning space.
This method is worth trying out because students need to shape for themselves to an ability to work in depth for sustained periods of time.
Enjoy trying this method,