- Teaching techniques that use timers during classroom lessons embed urgency and may help move students along to the next lesson, according to a Washington Post report.
- This strategy is used in the “Success For All” program, which suggests teachers time lessons so they stay on track. The importance of timing lessons was also featured in Doug Lemov’s books “Teach Like A Champion” and “Teach Like A Champion 2.”
- In his books, Lemov reports that he found highly successful teachers allotted specific chunks of time for each lesson. He also believes timing lessons helps students absorb the material because they receive the information in digestible pieces.
Successfully paced lessons create a sense of urgency and are delivered at a speed most learners in the classroom can follow. Visual timers show students time is of the essence in the classroom.
Teachers can also add timing notes to their lesson plan to serve as a guide. For example, if the lesson is set to begin at 10 a.m., teachers can note where they should be in that lesson five minutes in. They should recognize the points where the lesson can go off-track and have a plan to keep it moving along. Students can also help by keeping the timer running.
There are drawbacks to enforcing a strict schedule, especially for middle school students. Because they are more self-conscious, teens need more time to think because they are worried about giving the wrong answers in front of their peers. A visual timer may put undue pressure on socially sensitive teens.