If you were going to be stranded on a desert island, where you had to do therapy all day, what is the one thing you would take? I can’t help but yell TIMER! Give me a TIMER!!!!
I use timers with every student. Here are 10 different scenarios:
1. Kid who refuses to come to speech gets one extra minute to play before transitioning to me.
2. Once Kid gets to me, he works for 15 minutes as shown on the timer.
3. Kid tries to say 30 speech words in one minute.
4. Kid has trouble letting others talk in a group, he gets a 30 second timer to talk and then he has to listen for one minute.
5. Kid never talks in groups, he gets a one minute timer and has to add one comment every minute.
6. Group works on categories, they get one minute to name every type of ___ they can think of.
7. Group of kids working on grammar. They get one minute to challenge each other and see who can write the most irregular plural sentences.
8. Group of articulation students playing ‘Minute To Win It’ games.
9. Keep MYSELF on schedule so I don’t run out of time for other groups of kids (I see kids in inclusion blocks within their classroom).
10. Sensory Breaks. I have kids who want to WORK for the timer as the reward! It’s a sensory experience and really calming to sit and watch the sand drip!
I have several timers in my rolling cart and on my iPad. Here are four that are my favorites!
If you’ve got older children who need less of the actual visual support, try Online Stopwatch and their group of classroom timers. When you pull up the dynamite timer you’re sure to get them working!
If you have a smart phone, I love the Children’s Countdown Timer. You can take a picture of what the child is working to earn. That shows behind the timer countdown.
Sand timer are so easy! Kids can manipulate them themselves. They are visual! They are easy to haul around without breaking them. I use these Super Duper Sand Timers. They are really sturdy! I have a one-minute and five-minute version!
One other favorite is the Elapsed Time Timer that removes the red as time passes. It’s a great visual support to students. They can determine how much time is left and you can set it for longer periods of time.
OK, tell me! Would you make a timer the therapy item you couldn’t live without on an island?
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