Micheline Cooke is a teacher in a Emotional Behavior Classroom at Seahurst Elementary School. In her excel grant application, Micheline wrote “I would like to purchase a set of timers to help my students be more engaged in learning activities. Many of our students are learning how to take breaks instead of acting out physically. The timers will help them transition from a break back to a learning task.
I would also like to purchase a set of sand timers.The sand timers will help my students work through challenging academic tasks because they will know how much of the activity is left by seeing the sand timers.
Kids in the emotional behavior classroom are sometimes 1 or more grade levels behind in reading. Having a variety of timers will help our students practice reading quickly to beat the timer which will increase their reading fluency.”
In her final report, Micheline told us: We use the timers in our class in a variety of ways. We used the count up and count down timers to help my students time themselves while practicing reading passages to increase their reading fluency. Students will set the timers and then start reading as fast as they can for 1 minute.
Other students use the timers when they are requesting a break to calm themselves down. They like to pick an area of the room to sit in and watch the timer as it counts down which makes it very clear to them when they have to return back to work.
The visual timers help some of my students with ADHD. One student in particular when he gets very stimulated and has a difficult time focusing he pulls out the 1 minute sand timer flips the hour-glass over and watches the sand fall. After that minute he returns to his work refocused.
Every year, the Highline Schools Foundation grants teachers the funds they need to support unique and innovative programs in their classrooms that their school’s budget can’t provide and teachers can request up to $1,000. Micheline asked for $110. $110 was all it took to help improve her students day, this year and for many years to come.
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