How to “Break-Up” a Long Class Period

Hunter E. Hudson, Contributor

Most students enjoy taking a short break in the middle of a long class. But if too many breaks are given, it can cut into time that should be spent learning. With only 86 minutes in a class, 72 minutes on Fridays, and less than that on assembly days, even a couple of minutes to relax can take up a sizable chunk of the class period.

Some teachers give their students a short break, as long as it doesn’t interfere with learning.

Others play quiet music through the speakers. The low volume keeps the music from getting distracting.

“I often have music going on in my classes,” said Kathleen Hess, English teacher. “It sets a welcoming tone.”

Teachers also use learning activities like Blooket, Kahoot, or Quizlet as a break from lectures or independent work. While these activities are fun for students and teachers alike, it also helps students study the quiz subject.

“I feel like it’s kind of like a light starter,” said Ryan Bailey, senior. “We’re still doing schoolwork, but in a fun way.”

Some students like to listen to their own music during class because it can help with staying on task.

Although it has positive aspects for students, it has drawbacks for teachers. It’s difficult for teachers to get the attention of students who are listening to music at a high volume, and teachers aren’t able to tell if a student is listening or not without constantly asking. As long as they are aware of their surroundings, and they’re paying attention to their teachers and peers, listening to music can be helpful for some students. 

“I think if you have a five-minute break in class, you should be able to pull out your phone or listen to music,” said Bailey.