Sand Timers

(Article by Bob Hext)

Sand timers, concentration and behaviour.

You've found this page, no doubt, because you have a particular purpose in mind for your sand timers. I'd like to suggest a couple of ways I have found them useful in my own teaching: you may find these ideas helpful. Kids love them, and often ask me if I have any sand timers they can put on their own desks.

Starters and finishers. (Class, group or 1-1 teaching)

Use the 1 min or 30 sec sand timers for timing START: say "You have this long to get your things out/write your name/title/do the first sum/ etc... Use three minute sand timers for finishing off: "You have three minutes to finish the exercise/sentence/sum etc.

Sand timers for behaviour management

Sand timers on an individual child's desk are great for keeping noisy children/compulsive wanderers etc under control. Mix with reward, and start with an attainable target - it may only be a minute. "If you can keep silent/still etc for ... you get a merit". Increase the target time by one or three minutes: either just turn over the sand timer or use an additional one. CHILDREN WITH ADHD SEEM TO FIND THIS PARTICULARLY HELPFUL

Everyone shut up!

Sand timers can be much better than shouting. I hold up a 30 second sand timer as a signal for silence. If someone is still talking after it has run through, penalties follow!

How long is five minutes? (You need a class set of 1 minute sand timers for this)

Sand timers in a relay race! Divide the class into groups of five. Give each child a one minute sand timer. On the word "Go", one child in each group starts their timer; the rest of the group follow on immediately the previous sand timer has run out. The first group whose sand timers have all finished wins. This is possible due to the few seconds' discrepancy that exists between sand timers. It's fun; and for young children gives a good experience of duration.

Children love setting themselves targets. It's amazing how many children I have found improve their workrate and concentration just through being equipped with sand timers.

Click here to order SAND TIMERS.

Crossbow Education are specialist publishers and suppliers of resources for literacy and numeracy, especially for children with Dyslexia and ADHD. Click here to go to our home page.