Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Online Stopwatch

I don't know about you, but students in my classroom often struggle to stay on task.  My students are in career tech programs and spend much of the day together- either in the same career tech program and/or in the afternoon they are in the same academic classes.  It actually becomes a community within the school-- and I believe it would be an interesting anthropologic study for someone (like Bones... I've definitely been watching to much of that show lately!).  However, the community it creates causes students to want to talk and be friends much more than they want to work on the compare and contrast chart they are doing.

That said, I love group work.  I think it is one of the best ways for students to indirectly learn communication skills and think out loud, and I'm constantly thinking of ways to make group work better.  During the last month of school, I  discovered this fun timing set that can be projected onto my Smartboard.  The timer is great when you want to give students a specific amount of time to work on something.  They can refer back to the timer to see how much time they have left.  It keeps them more focused because they recognize how much time they have rather than me nagging and reminding them.  The timer is also super easy to use.

The timer also come in a million (ok, not a million.  That might be a hyperbole) fun styles.  My favorite (which always makes my students giggle) is the swimming one (I coach HS Swimming).

The swimmers race until the end of the timer - and what's fun is someone different wins each time.  Timing my students visually helps them: 
  • stay on task
  • be independent learners (because I don't have to nag them) 
  • work on staying focused for short increments of time (I don't use timers for more than 15 minutes worth of activity and I usually try to keep my classroom activities to about 15 minutes in length)
    • This is good for classrooms with students with IEP goals that require them to practice staying on task. 
Check out the Online Stopwatch and comment below how you think it would help your students !  

Link up your own Tech Tuesday using the link below and please leave my tech tuesday button (see here) or say something like "Linking Up with The Oatmeal Chronicles for Tech Tuesday" at the end of your post! (please leave a link to my blog then!) 

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