There’s something about starting a new year, whether that’s a school year or a calendar year, that makes me think more intentionally about TIME. When you pace your students in their work, they can learn to become more intentional about time, too.
Out of necessity, most adults become reasonably good managers of their time. They have to be if they want to keep their job and the many other commitments they’ve made. Even so, many still feel like they could do better.
So wouldn’t it be great if we could teach kids time management skills early on, so they could begin reaping the benefits now and enjoy the rewards of using their time well for a lifetime?
One way to encourage kids to be mindful of how they’re using their time is through pacing.
Here’s how you might pace your students during an art lesson…
1.) Explain how many sessions will be available to complete the project when you introduce it. Will students be expected to start and finish in one class period? Or will they take 3 weeks to work on this assignment?
2.) Let students know when the class period is half over. You might hesitate to interrupt kids when they’re so engaged in a project that they’ve lost all track of time. But running out of time or having to rush at the end won’t serve them well, so a quick nod to the time remaining is helpful here.
3.) Give students a warning when they have 10 minutes (or 5 minutes for younger kids) left to work before clean-up time. Setting a time for clean-up in advance is the best way to make sure it happens! This 10-minute warning can also be a good time to remind students to confirm that their name is on their work.
Use both verbal and visual reminders
Learning to pace themselves helps students win at school and at life. While the pacing tips above are focused on verbal reminders, visual reminders are helpful, too. And if you’re able to use both, even better.
My favorite tool for providing a visual reminder of time is the Time Timer. It comes in a variety of sizes and styles, ideal for homeschool, special needs students, or regular classroom use.
The Time Timer encourages independence and productivity as it helps kids visualize their available time as a unit or block… as the time left decreases, the visual “block” gets smaller.
an inspiring quote:
“The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: I DID NOT HAVE TIME.” ~ Franklin Field
One of the keys to a successful life is learning how to manage your time. After all, time is a resource we cannot get more of. We can make more money but we cannot make more time. Teaching kids to use their time well is one of the greatest gifts we can give them!