Making certain that students remain on task is time-consuming. Sometimes it helps in project work or other class activities to keep a timer for the students to monitor their use of time and make sure they are using their time wisely. Tech & Learning shared an article on Fun Timers in Class recently that outlines ways timers can be used effectively during specific classroom assignments.
Check out these fun online timers--http://www.online-stopwatch.com/classroom-timers/.
How do you use timers in your classroom? Please share your stories with us.
I have used timers in the classroom particularly during center activities. I have used the website suggested and project it onto the SMARTBoard so that the students are aware of how much time they have left. I would suggest staying away from any of the timers that explode at the end as this causes students to focus more on the timer and less on cleaning up. For smaller, quieter lessons I have used sand timers that can be placed on individual tables to provide a visual reference for students to know how much time they have left. These timers have ranged anywhere from one minute to an hour depending on the length of the activity. For particularly slow workers I place one on their individual desk to help keep them on task during independent work times. One caution with this method, however, is that it can make some students anxious and in turn make them more distracted. Overall though timers are a great method for time management.
Timing is Everything so Use a Timer is a nice introduction on time use in the classroom.
When I taught kindergarten, many moons ago, I used the Walt Disney Cinderella's "The Work Song" for the students to pick up their toys and supplies.
One trick recently shared at a workshop is the "90 second" time strategy...
It works well when gadgets or technology are not available...especially for younger elementary students.
Tell them they have 90 seconds to complete a task...it is not an amount of time that they can readily identify, yet it gets them going and on task...Of course, you can "modify" those 90 seconds to suit the task and student progress. I have found this to be a successful strategy for my students, try it out...what do you think? Though I do love the Disney clip and song,too ...