An American teacher, teaching his first year in Helsinki, Finland taught two 45 minute lessons, then gave his students a 30 minute break. However, they were used to sitting for 40 minutes, then getting a 15 minute break. Just the slight 45 minute change sparked troubling reactions from his students.
"My students in the States had always seemed to drag their feet after about 45 minutes in the classroom. But they’d never thought of revolting like this shrimpy Finnish fifth grader, who was digging in his heels on the third day of school."
So, he decided to try the Finnish way, teaching 45 minute lessons, then giving his students a 15 minute brain break. "Once I incorporated these short recesses into our timetable, I no longer saw feet dragging, zombie like kids in my classroom. Throughout the school year, my Finnish students would -without fail- enter the classroom with a bounce in their steps after a 15- minute break. And most importantly, they were more focused during lessons."