Egg timers aren’t for cooking in the classroom…

Egg Timers keep the classroom moving...

Egg Timers keep the classroom moving…

I cannot recall how I came up with the idea to use an egg timer to keep things moving in my classroom, but I’m sure it was in a practicum class during my teacher certification program. One thing I do know, this is by no means an original idea. I have a total of 60 minutes for each class period. One might think, seems like myriad of time, so what’s the rush? Indeed it’s a lot of time, but I like to use all 60 minutes in an effective fashion. That being the case, if I don’t monitor my time correctly, I would fail at that task. I could just look at a clock on the wall, but I don’t have one. The no clock thing wasn’t intentional. However, during my first year, I realized I had a few “clock watchers.” I used to be one myself during my younger days from time to time, so I wasn’t offended. It’s important to note, this isn’t a fool proof method of time management. There have been times that I have run out of time in the classroom due to student discussions, direct instruction comprehension issues, or extended question & answer segments in class.

I’m digressing – let’s get to the method itself. There are a couple of reasons that I use an egg timer, but it’s mostly about time management in the classroom, but it also has a level of behavior management which usually go hand in hand. In order to give you better insight as to how a typical Language Arts/Literature class goes, I will layout the schedule as follows: bell work to start class in which in which I take attendance & settle kids (5 – 7 minutes total), daily reading comprehension worksheets in which instruction is given w/ a 5 minute per sheet (2) time frame as well as a call and response for comprehension check (12-15 minutes total), popcorn reading of current reading selection while using active note taking skills (30-35 minutes total), and a reading journal w/ comprehension check as ticket out of class (10-12 minutes total). As you can see, these are typical time frames in which I keep the class moving forward to meet the varying objective(s) for the day. As mentioned earlier, this isn’t a fool proof system, but having an egg timer to keep yourself on the tight schedule helps. That being said, I have to be flexible because if I’m not, it doesn’t leave extra time for student interaction and/or extra questions. To simplify, every time we move forward in class, it’s done so on a time table that is monitored by the old trusty egg timer.

The second reason I use the egg timer in class is for the fact that it helps with classroom behavior management. Students Continue reading