Tangible Time Management Tools
Tangible Time Management
Time Management is difficult for many people, but even more so for students with learning challenges. Jennifer Price recently attended a seminar where she was blown away by tools that taught time management but were tangible (you can hold time in your hand) and visual. This is HUGE for students that are having a hard time grasping the idea of time. We have begun to incorporate teaching time in these ways to our students. Here are a few examples of what we have begun and now include as part of our services. We want you to be able to enforce and utilize these at home with your students.
If your student is easily distracted or a time-waster:
Use pieces of paper (preferably lamented) and have them stand for different segments of time (so they should be cut like pie segments). Each segment represents a piece of time (1 min, 3 mins, 5 mins). The pie pieces get larger with the amount of time. You probably won’t need more than 5 minute increments. Whenever the student wastes some time, give them a pie piece representative of that to hold on to. At the end of homework time or task time or for us our session time, we take the last few minutes to add up the amount of wasted time with the pieces, so the student can VISUALLY see it. Then, you look at what the student accomplished during the allotted time that day and then ask them what they could have accomplished during all that wasted time. Once you talk through it, the student should begin to get a grasp on where their time goes and it can help them be more focused in order to have more time to do what they like.
If your student doesn’t realize how long it takes to actually do a task:
Use a clock with a clear face and make your task list. Ask the student what they want to do first (this teaches planning). Maybe they say history homework. Okay, then ask what they have to do and how long they think it will take to complete that task. If they say 30 minutes, then have the student count by fives from where the clock currently is to where 30mins will be. Mark this on the clock face with a dry erase marker and shade it in. Mark in a different color or black the half way point, then begin the task. At the half way point, stop for a moment and check in to see how progress on the task is going. This helps the student realize more fully how long something actually might take them. Once, the task is finished, go back to the clock and see how long it actually took. Was the prediction right? Talk with the student about why they didn’t need as much time or why they went over on time. This begins to visually put into perspective (with the clock face) how long certain things actually take and can help the student in the future with planning and use of time. The clock pictured is an example of one that a Mom uses at home with her child to show how long it should take to get ready in the morning and dividing up their time between and wake and leaving for school. Notice the dry erase colors and pictures the student has placed around the clock face.
There are plenty of other visual ways to represent time and help a student begin to plan and recognize how to use time efficiently. Hopefully, these ideas can be incorporated at home as we are beginning to use them with your students here at LF. Let us know how it goes or how we can support you using these tools in the home.