No Series: Time's Up! Effective Use of Instructional Time

Time's Up! Effective Use of Instructional Time

Lesson Objective: Manage instructional time more effectively by using a timer
All Grades / All Subjects / Pacing


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does the time constraint support higher levels of engagement?
  2. In what ways does the timer help Ms. Koch manage instructional time?
  3. What does Ms. Koch mean when she says that a little pressure helps push her students?


  • Private message to Lou Ann Ludwig

The timer helps keep students on task and the focus is stronger.

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  • Private message to Lea Bellon

The timer helps increase a sense of urgency in getting the job done and keeps them focused on the task. Thanks for sharing.


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  • Private message to Julia Marcucci

1. Students know they have a time constraint when doing specific tasks.

2. The educator gets caught up in walking/checking in with the kids as well as keeping the educator on task with her kids.

3. A small amount of pressured time can help the kids focus more on their tasks at hand.

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  • Private message to Beth Tallman-McGlynn
I love the idea of the timer not only for the students but for me to keep the day & lesson moving. I will be implementing this in my classroom management.
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  • Private message to Heather Augustine
I think the timer is great for time management for students and teacher and can be the signal to transition activities.
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  • [Music]

    Interviewer: That’s time! All right.

    I do like to use a timer because I feel like if you give students


    Interviewer: That’s time! All right.

    I do like to use a timer because I feel like if you give students too much time to do a task, then the task drags out, and they don’t stay focused as much as they should, so the timer really helps them with that concrete, “This is how much time you have, it’s gonna go off, you need to be done when the timer goes off.”

    You guys done—you’re done with the map here?

    Interviewee: Yeah, we’re done.

    Interviewer: You’re finishing your totals?

    So it would be right about there.

    Interviewee: What?

    Interviewer: Yeah.

    [Background talking]

    It’s for me, too, because I can get so caught up as a teacher, and going around and checking in at each table, and really looking at the kids, and I can get a little caught up in that and lose track of time, and so it helps keep me on task. Then, for the students, the timer really helps give them the concrete, “This is when it’s done.”

    That is it. Finish up.

    Just helps them stay on task and helps keep them focused, and I feel like that little bit of pressure helps push the kids a little bit.


    [End of Video 01:20]

School Details

Ms 250 West Side Collaborative Middle School
735 West End Avenue
New York NY 10025
Population: 180

Data Provided By:



Emily Koch


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