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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Students slacking off?

Are your students slacking off?  Taking forever to complete assignments?  Do you feel you are pulling teeth with these kids?  Well I'll let you in on a secret, kids don't hold themselves accountable because you don't hold them accountable.  "But I grade their papers!  I encourage them to complete their work!"  you say.  Ah, but how much extra time do you give them to complete their work?  My first year teaching, I often times allowed them to have extra time to complete assignments. However, kids started taking forever to get it done, especially in group work!

My cure to this?  a Timer!  Having a timer on the board holds myself and my students accountable in completing assignments and instructions. 

How does it hold myself accountable?  I will occasionally have the timer on when I am giving instruction or a lecture.  After 10 minutes, I HAVE to stop talking and let students do some type of work (drawing a representation of what we discussed, filling in a graphic organizer, etc)  This keeps kids engaged and I'm not talking all block! 

For younger students, http://www.online-stopwatch.com/bomb-countdown/full-screen/?ns=../../s/5.mp3&nslen=1

For students who are in high school, a simple timer on the SMARTBoard will suffice.  If you do not know how to get a timer on the SMARTboard, open a new notebook, click on the picture frame tab thats on the left side of the notebook, under the page tab.  type in timer in the search and click on interactive and multimedia.

Another advice, give the students their graded papers back ASAP!