Monday, February 16, 2009

5 minutes

That's the title and theme of this, and for how long I will write this particular post. It's based upon something I've been trying out with students, which in turn was based upon something I read about the novelist Anthony Trollope. Apparently, before going to his job at the post office, he would write for exactly three hours every morning. If he finished a novel at, say two hours and ten minutes, he wouldn't stop: He'd start a new novel.
Well, I wondered what would happen if I let my students write for five minutes, no more, no less, about a given subject, and tell them not to worry about spelling or grammar - what would happen? In fact, it has so far been an interesting exercise in what happens - newly learned vocabulary appears to be produced with far greater ease, while certain errors, mainly of spelling, disappear.
I then wondered what else can be done in five minutes, so I've just done a load of mini-tasks so far today - clearing up a letters tray, phoning the council about a grant, choosing a couple of birthday cards - and so far, it seems very productive. And there's my five minu

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