not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day after
tomorrow just as well."
This section is designed to give you
various ways and methods of incorporating time management strategies
into your courses and help you to assist students with
their metacognitive awareness of their time management skills
Lee out of time to
your classes, how many of your students exhibit any of the
following behaviors, and how often do those behaviors occur?
- come to
- ask to leave
- miss class
for reasons other than being ill (appointments, etc.)
- turn in
- do not turn
in assignments at all (or during finals week)
panic before midterms and finals
- ask for
help beginning an assignment due the next class/day/hour
(or a week ago)
"I didn't know it was due today!"
"I don't have my books yet." (said during
- come to
complete homework five minutes before class, or during
once per semester
many, most or all
you answered "c" or "d," most likely,
your students have been plagued by many of the symptoms
of time management problems.
you answered "a" or "b," either this
is your first semester teaching or I don't believe you!)
behaviors suggest evidence of time
management problems, probably the most common difficulty
faced by college students. Students may not even be aware
of how their time management skills directly influence the
success or failure of their classes. Or, they may be well
aware of their lack of time management skills, yet unable
to turn them around.
I try various ways to incorporate time management strategies
into my courses, depending on the specific problems and needs
of the students that semester. Here are a few ideas and ways
you can aid your students in building their time management
Calendar: It is helpful for
the students to see the entire semester on one sheet of
paper (two sided). Having the important dates of the semester
in your class (midterm and final exams, holidays, major
paper and assignment due dates, etc.) clearly laid out allows
students to plan ahead with their work. They can use it
to work ahead; or if they are absent they can use it to
refer to what will be due so that they will not get behind.
If you are not
sure of your assignment dates for the whole semester
(as it can be difficult to do the first time teaching a
course), you can include the ones you do know (the final
and holidays, etc.) and have the students write in papers,
tests, etc. as you assign them.
Here is a sample
of a course
May 24-25, 29-31
and Planners: I have been
surprised to discover that not only do many of my students
not keep any sort of list, schedule or time planner, but
they do not necessarily know how to use them.
At the beginning
of the semester, I make available blank weekly schedules,
monthly calendars and semester planners to my students,
and I spend a few moments in class modeling how to use
them on the overhead projector. While this may sound ridiculous,
the students respond positively and gratefully to this
demonstration. Usually the difference in students' organization
is immediately noticed once they start using them.
planner helps students see how much (or how little) free
time they have daily. This is a good way for them to analyze
whether they are over committed with their time -- a common
problem for the hardworking city college student who takes
a full class load, works full time, plays a sport, has
family responsibilities and wants a social life. Students
often do not know that their teachers expect them to spend
1-2 hours of work and review every night for every hour
spent in class. Once they see their schedule, it is easier
for them to determine if they have allocated enough time
for study or to admit that they are indeed over committed
and must rethink their schedule in order to have successful
Here is a sample
of a Weekly
planner helps students put the most important dates of
all their classes in one
place. This will help them identify their "killer"
weeks so that they can plan ahead for them and not just
suddenly realize that they have a midterm, a paper and
a project due all the next week.
Here is a sample
of a Monthly
Time/Metacognitive Awareness: Here
are four different types of lessons/activities that you
might use or modify for your students to teach about analyzing
time and being aware of their own thinking and working process.
Through Your Workload"
Ask students to chart how much time they spend during
a day and a week on various tasks. Then, the time is
added up and subtracted out of total hours possible
to determine how much "free time" they have.
(Don't be surprised if many of your students' totals
are negative number.)
Many students either underestimate how long it will
take to complete their assignment and don't finish on
time, or they overestimate how long it will take, become
overwhelmed and can't seem to begin. This
activity asks students to make an estimate of how long
it will take them to complete a given assignment and
note it on their log. The "true" time is also
logged as they work, and eventually students discover
whether their estimates were high, low, or on target.
Hopefully, students will eventually develop a good sense
of the time needed to complete their homework properly.
an example of a Real
Time Assignment Log.
doing his Real Time Assignment Log
Average of Reading "Rate" (comprehension,
My colleague in English Skills, Michele Peterson, shared
this technique with me. Although we typically use novels
for this exercise, the same concept can be applied to
any class text (fiction or non-fiction).
students read their text for ten minutes (reading
at the rate at which they understand the text, and
about the same rate they would read at home).
students count the total number of pages they read.
students multiply their total by six to get the
number of pages they would read in an hour at that
students write their number (anonymously) on an
a class average of the number of pages typically
read in a hour.
only will this help you to determine the amount of reading
to assign your students per class, but it will help
students to see that the amount you do assign is remarkably
reasonable (considering that you could
assign 2 hours of reading per night). Also, every time
I do this activity students seem genuinely surprised
at how much they can read in one hour.
Putting possible point values for questions/sections
of your tests helps students know where to spend their
time. Or, you may consider giving an estimate of how
long you think each section would take for a complete
Lesson: For some of my courses,
I need to teach a fairly extensive lesson on time management,
procrastination, goal setting, schedules and calendars and
stress management. For this purpose, I use online lessons
and materials I created at http://online.sbcc.net/login/eng70/lectures/framesetpreview.htm
- teach using
the website out loud with my class, using a portable
computer cart and projector system.
- allow students
go through the website individually at their own pace,
but altogether as a class in a computer lab, with me
there to answer questions.
- let students
choose to use the website individually, either as needed
and recommended by me, or as review of material covered
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