- Intense and focused concentration on the activity
- Merging of action and awareness of the current task
- The temporary loss of ability to reflect
- A sense of personal control and ownership over the activity
- A distortion of subjective time
- The experience is internally rewarding in and of itself
When all six of these experiences are combined, then one is said to have achieved a state of flow. Flow can be motivation for learning.
I believe that flow can be achieved when there is an engaging conversation going on in a classroom that leads to some kind of productive activity on the part of students. I experienced it when I was a teacher—some kind of magic happened in a few of my classes. The bell rang way too soon.
We trust that the Nonfiction Minute can create flow. I know that the authors of the Minutes experienced it when they wrote them. If we have flow when we write, will you have flow when you read it and when you teach it? Can it inspire flow in follow-up activities when your students discuss it with each other, use it do research and write their own thoughts about it? Long ago, when I first started writing, I figured that If I were bored and uninterested in the material when I wrote it, my reader would be bored and uninterested when forced to read it.
We have just opened up our Nonfiction Minute Charter Membership Club. We are doing this because we cannot sustain new production of Minutes, their continued publication, and their Transfer-to-Teaching pages without funding. You can learn more about it here. One of our new Charter Members, Anna MacLaughlin wrote us:
“I have already scheduled Nonfiction Minute in my Afternoon Literacy for Middle School Daily Schedule! We start next Wednesday 📚and I will be introducing Paper Airplanes ✈️ as our Introduction!
“Thanks again for creating such a wonderful CCSS-aligned Nonfiction idea for students! I teach at a Special Ed Behavior School for physically aggressive and flight risk kids in K-11th and I am one of the Middle School Teachers with 8 students in my classroom so I will let you know how it goes in a few weeks!”
Anna must create flow (motivation aka “magic”) in her classroom if she is going to reach students with severe emotional issues. I’m thrilled that she chose our material as the vehicle for her challenges. Please join our community of authors, educators and students with the mission of creating the joy of learning in classrooms for all.