Oct 012013

Mini Time Tracker for faster working speed

A slow work speed means it can take your child forever to complete a lesson or his homework.

In researching proven solutions to improve slow work speed when completing school work, I found this cool little mid-tech assistive technology gadget:

The Learning Resources Time Tracker Mini

How can this be used to increase your child’s work speed?

Here’s a little bit of educational insight about how timing lessons can help your child learn more efficiently:

Research by Hermann Ebbinghaus shows the first thing and the last thing in any lesson is what students are most likely to remember. Everything else in the middle of a lesson is “interference” and less apt to be remembered.

Therefore, the best practices in instruction say that learning should take place in short segments with frequent non-instructional breaks such as a Brain Gym break, a lean protein snack break, a nap or rest break. Taking a non-instructional break allows your child’s brain to continue processing the content that was just covered in the lesson.

Recommended learning segments should be 15-30 minutes. If your child has a slow work speed in the completion of his lessons and does not have a slow processing speed (with a neurological basis), you can use this timer to challenge your child to increase his work speed. Tell your child, “See how much you can get done before the timer goes off!”  You can make a game of working quickly.

The more work your child can get done in 20-30 minutes, the better you’ll both feel about the progress in his educational day. You can establish great incentives or rewards for reaching certain working milestones.

For example, if your child usually completes about three or four math problems in 30 minutes, you can challenge your child to see if he can work six problems in 30 minutes. Set the timer and GO! If your child reaches the agreed upon goal, let him skip the rest of that day’s lesson, play a game with him, give him a dollar, a lollipop, or some other incentive.

I’ll tell you a secret: If your child completes his work in 30 minutes and you give him the rest of the problems off for today, he’ll be motivated to meet tomorrow’s goal.  Thus, less work today is a great incentive to meet each subsequent goal, which is one or two more problems than the prior day.

Over time using a timer-based incentive, your child is more likely to develop a habit of working more quickly.  The goal is for your child to complete any subject in two 30 minute segments each day, for a total of an hour spent on each subject.  An hour is a good target amount of time each day–30 minutes for the lesson and learning and 30 minutes of practice problems.

While there is no guaranty your results with your child will be fabulous, if your child is one who is inspired by a challenge, The Learning Resources Time Tracker Miniimprove Slow Work Speed may be a good solution for improving your child’s slow work speed.

Time Tracker Mini Product Description

The two best things about this electronic timer versus a traditional timer are:

1) No ticking, and

2) A preliminary warning that time is nearing an end.

How the Timer Helps Slow Work Speeds

“Time Tracker Mini is a unique, multi-sensory timer that offers visual and auditory cues, including a warning alarm that supports transitions. Manage everyday activities and tasks while fostering your child’s independence and accountability.

“Learning Resources’ Time Tracker Mini enhances self management and independence skills, and is great for reminders. The Timer facilitates transitions by providing a warning cue to indicate an end of an activity, thus helping your child to predict and prepare. Features red for stop, green for go, and can be seen easily from all angles.”

“The portable mini timer runs on batteries and has been designed with ease-of-use in mind. Just two dials – total alarm time and warning time. Total time can be set from five minutes to two hours, in five-minute increments. Counts down until the colored light glows, and the alarm sounds. Adjust volume or turn off sound for visual timing. Requires three AAA batteries (not included).”

Time Tracker Mini Review Comments

“We bought this timer to use for video games, homework time, showers, and more. I love that it gives a warning sound and changes color so that my kids can prepare themselves to end the activity they are doing. One of my children is autistic, so it helps him to transition much more smoothly.

“The green timer you set for the overall time. The yellow timer is set as the warning alarm. Be sure you set the warning alarm with the amount of time you want to pass before it goes off, vs. how much warning time you want to give. For instance, let’s say you set the overall time for 30 min. of video game time. If you would like to give your child a 5 minute warning, set the yellow timer for 25 min. Then hit the start button.

“A great feature of the timer is that you can adjust the timer volume. My autistic son is sometimes startled by the timer if it is on the loudest setting. If you would rather have a timer that can be set to the minute, Learning Resources makes a timer with that feature. It’s harder to set than this one, so I prefer the mini.”

“My 7 year old son has responded very well to this timer. With regard to the tricky time setting instructions, just skip them. It’s fairly simple if you complete these phrases:

* “I want the warning to sound in ___ minutes from now.” Then turn the yellow dial to that number.
* “I want the time to run out in ___ minutes from now.” Then turn the green dial to that number.
* Press Start.

“It doesn’t seem to be of “lasts forever” construction. It works wonderfully to keep my son focused during homework activities. Seriously folks, he hasn’t cried or whined once since I started using this. And I kid you not, homework has been a major battle up to this point. I also use it to set five minute breaks between each homework activity, which is a HUGE motivator.”

“I have 3 autistic children and we use this timer so much it burns out! I love that it has a warning and lets them know when their time is almost up so less meltdowns!”

“This timer is very easy to set. Simply twist the green band to the amount of total time that the timer will run, and twist the yellow band to how long after the timer starts that you would like it to show the yellow warning light. The volume is adjustable, which is perfect for a loud/busy classroom or a quiet space such as the library. One of my students does fabulous with transitions when he can see the lights change…. when it turns to yellow, he’ll tell me that he only has a little left, and when it turns red, he just gets up and follows the group. Without the light there are arguments and negotiations for more time! Works GREAT! LOVE IT!!!”

I hope The Learning Resources Time Tracker Miniimprove Slow Work Speed solution works well for your child and really helps improve the difficulty he has with a slow work speed.  This is an easy mid-tech assistive technology solution to implement.