Taking Time to Get Time Back
Using the Strategy of Time on Task with Engaging Online Timers
The one thing that we all have in common, is the one thing that I didn’t manage well. Its pretty amazing to think about how we all have the same amount of daylight, for our entire lives. The politically correct thing to say is, that we all have the same daylight but not the same number of days. Especially, since now I know the difference; in my heart I want to be as productive as a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. In reality, I made excuses by being a poor time manager. Speaking of excuses, its even worse to be a poor manager of time when you are a classroom teacher. That is when I knew I had a problem. Here is a list of web tools I used to help me become a better time manager for my students and I.
Google Chrome Timer
Simply type the amount of time you want in Google Chrome in the Omnibox to start the count down . A stop watch or a timer will appear count down party begins. If you use the strategy: Time on Task then you can continue the flow of the lesson using this quick access tool. In the same tool you can also speak to the Google Chrome web browser’s microphone. By pressing on the microphone located in the Omnibox, it allows you to search the web or input a timer or stop watch. This is really cool to use during a walkthrough or an observation too, because you can show off your time ninja skills and display how you are training your students to be managers of time. I guess thats why the Time on Task strategy is one of my favorites, because kids can immediately use the skill are trained quickly to be self directed.
A great time management application suggested to me by my coworker Regina Ingram, is Online Classroom Timers. It is a staple in the elementary classroom because of the mesmerizing interactions on screen. My students love the Swim Race, Track Race, and Bomb timer. I have had several students finish early just to see which racer would win. I also love the multicultural aspect that these classroom timers bring to education. The racers are not all a homogeneous group and neither are the winners. Using a multicultural timer in classrooms adds a layer of trust for those students who don’t express feelings of exclusion in other parts of the pedagogy. These timers almost reinforce that we all have the same daylight and all students can make the best of it.
Classtools.net also has some cool tools for Time on Task, like timers that play theme songs like Hawaii Five O, Mozart, or even upload your own Mp3. Classtools.net like its name states is for teachers and classrooms. It has a smorgasboard of useful tools and lesson frames to enhance 21st century instruction. One lesson idea you can do is upload a Mp3 of you giving a spelling test. Let the timer count it down as your voice is played in the background. This allows you to become the facilitator and the class will be more self directed, using Time on Task; freeing up the teacher to monitor activity.
I hope that these tools can help you as they have help me over the years. Remember the procrastinator’s motto: “Nothing would get done if it wasn’t for the last minute!”