Monday, July 20, 2015

Executive Functioning Strategy #2: Time Management and Tracker

Question: How do you teach time management and time awareness to students that struggle with completing (or even starting) work in a timely manner? 

Resources: This executive functioning strategy comes to you from a great PD I had a few years ago from Sarah Ward of Cognitive Solutions. Check out their great PDF on teaching time awareness here

Where: At the student's desk

When: During class, group work, independent work, any time

  • Analogue clock with a glass face and metal lens (I bought the Cognitive Solutions clock here but it looks like they're all sold out. The clocks need to have a glass face in order for you to use dry erase markers on them. They also need a metal frame so that you can put magnets on them. I found a nice one here for $18.99. Not bad!)
  • 1 or 2 dry erase markers
  • Colored magnets (Go here or here
How To:
  1. Identify the current time on the analogue clock.
  2. Put a magnet next to the current minute hand. 
  3. Draw a line from the center to the current minute hand. 
  4. Put another magnet on the ending time.
  5.  Draw a line from the center to where the minute hand will be at the ending time. 
  6. Shade in the time between the two magnets. This is the amount of time the student will be working on the assignment. 
Next Level Ideas:

1. Task analysis. Break up the assignment into smaller chunks. Draw a line between each of those smaller steps. 
Here is a student working on a math assignment. The clock is broken up by the number or problems. 
I promise this picture isn't so blurry and terrible when it's zoomed out. Here is a seriously hard to see zoom in of a student's analogue clock. You can see that #2 started at 10 after and was slotted to end at 20 after.
2. Reflect. After the student reaches each line, take time to reflect with the student about how it went.
  • Did you complete the step/assignment in the time given?
  • If yes, what worked? What should you continue doing?
  • If no, what held you back? What can you do to complete your goal?
  • Make a plan. What should you do next? 
3. Fade out supports. Once the student has become more independent with reflecting on and tracking time, provide them with the materials and have them set up the clock independently.   

4. Plan for break time. Remember, this is hard (and sometimes exhausting) work. Just like training for a marathon, students need to build up their endurance.

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