That being said, there are times, especially in the early periods of the day, where a "warm-up" is necessary simply to get the students into "working mode". Today I gave them a classic puzzle (see below, and connect all the dots with only four lines without lifting the pencil). It had nothing to do with English, but was a simple puzzle designed to get their brains moving so they could then get started with my work. Was it a waste of time? Yes...but perhaps that time was made-up as opposed to time that would have been lost had students struggled to naturally get in the rhythm of things.
I suppose no system is perfect...reminds me of the current trade-offs being debated in the TV-watching world. Binge-watching episodes can lead to a lack of suspense and rejection of conventional cliffhangers. Week to week viewing can be tedious as it drags out storylines that can be told much quicker. Education is similar....while there's not really much need for the traditional conventions in a student-centered approach, sometimes a good old fashioned "commercial break" is what's called for. It might just jump-start the rest of the season.