This is Five Minutes Work.

This post has a definite time limit imposed upon it. Having set up categories and tags, I gave myself five minutes to write down today’s post, including thinking about what I was going to say.

Obviously, today’s point is that having a limited time for an activity is going to shape the nature of the activity. But it’s not the only point. I’ve had to make a decision as to how much editing I will allow and basically, once a line is complete, I have to leave it alone. This makes this (usually at least semi-edited) blog into something that is much closer to an in-class exercise.

Now, I’m lucky in many ways because this task is not overly challenging. I have freedom of topic (so I probably have enough in my head to work out what I want to say), I have good tools to use (I can type quickly and get something legible) and I’m not actually being watched. If you’re reading this I thought the final result was interesting enough to post.

2.5 minutes.

In a classroom, if I give students an assignment to complete, I have to be aware of the fact that writing legibly takes longer than scrawling, that typing may not ever make it to me because the artefact is locked onto someone else’s machine and that the sheer thinking time involved for a student to be able to engage with my desired context could eat the entire five minutes.

So the next time that I think about setting a five minute in-class exercise, I’m going to have to consider the following:

  1. Have I provided enough context or guidance that the students can start almost immediately?
  2. Is there an easy first thing to write down?
  3. Am I only expecting less than 100 words (4:20 and this is about 295)
  4. Am I setting a task that is really too hard? Should it be a 30 minute exercise out of class.

Well, my time’s running out so I have to come to a close. I found this really interesting to do, and I hope that you found something useful from it as well. 4:59.

One Comment on “This is Five Minutes Work.”

  1. […] of my recent posts. “This Is Five Minutes Work”, is, to me, one of the best posts I’ve put in – it’s a live writing exercise […]


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