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Discussion: Stopwatch tool
Topic: New Online Stopwatch tool
Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/2971/


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Subject:   RE: New Online Stopwatch tool
Author: mightymouse
Date: Jan 3 2009
On Dec 31 2008, Suzanne wrote:
> On Dec  6 2008, chronme wrote:
> Easy tool to record time spent on
> each excercise:
> http://www.chronme.com

Thanks, chronme. I've
> just taken a moment to add your tool to the Math Tools catalog. It
> can be found here:  

http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/70981/
> As a former middle school mathematics teacher my initial thought was
> how fun it would be to project this and use with students to talk
> about a variety of aspects of time.

It would be interesting to
> hear stories from teachers about how they use this tool with
> students!

Thank you and Happy New Year!
Suzanne

I liked the timer and already have a use for it - buzzing at set intervals for a
child who needs scaffoding for a task ('do --- for five minutes, then do ---
for five minutes, then do ---- for five minutes').

The children I have in mind are ADHD students who experience difficulty with
instructions like 'practice the flute for 30 minutes', but can cope with tasks
when they are broken into manageable chunks 'ten minutes of technical work, then
ten minutes on the Kohler study, then ten minutes on the Handel sonata'.

The problems I have with this timer (and why I'll keep searching for the perfect
timer) are:
- the alarm is, well, rather alarming. If a child with ADHD wasn't already off
task, this noise would certainly do the job.
- you can only have one time interval. I can't set it to sound a pleasant bleep
at different points in a thirty minute interval - e.g. 'we are going to practice
writing a narrative. Spend 5 minutes planning, then 20 minutes writing, then 5
minutes re-reading and editing'.

A little timer that did the above would be a handy applet to sit in the top of a
student's computer screen while they work on a task.

I love timers and have an easy-to-use one stuck on the refrigerator always.
My kids grab it for everything from cleaning their rooms, to practicing music to
baking things for the cub scout cooking badge. Doing lots of practical tasks
with a timer has given them a good understanding of elapsed time.

Here in Sydney Australia it is our long Summer holiday. The new school year
starts in February, so there is still a month to recover from the excesses of
Christmas.

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