What Is the Pomodoro Technique?

Pomodoro is a time management strategy developed in the 80s.  Pomodoro (paa·muh·daw·row) comes from the Italian word for tomato.  The creator of this method, Francesco Cirillo, used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato to help him study.  Cirillo found this method useful, he introduced Pomodoro to the world.

How does it work?

This technique divides your working time into 2 categories; focused (called pomodoros) and rest.  Generally, you are focused for 25 mins followed by 5 mins of rest.  This pattern continues for about 4 cycles and is followed by a longer period of rest.  This method is intended to reduce distractions by providing a set period of time to indulge in distractions.  The pomodoros create a sense of urgency to complete a specific task, keeping students on track.  The periods of rest prevent burn-out by building in brain breaks.

Considerations for classrooms

In your classroom, you may want to create guidelines or expectations for what each of these periods looks like.  For example, what can early finishers do when there is still time on the clock? During rest periods can students talk and socialize, move around, go to the restroom?  Whatever works best for your classroom, this video can be a helpful aid.  It gives visual and audible cues for students and is long enough you’ll never have to worry about running out of time.