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A Pediatric Perspective

Time out & Time Keeping Tools

Published May 24, 2011 11:13 PM by Wendy Hof

As promised I have a couple more websites to share with you from the conference I attended a couple weeks back.  One is an actual software site that again offers "free" software and the other is a website for a really cool timer.

I know that our computers come with that little clock in the lower right hand corner of our screen but truthfully - how many of us take the time to look down there?  And if you wear glasses as I do it can some times be difficult to see those small numbers and from time to time I am just too dang lazy to move my mouse over to the numbers and bring them up to a bigger size.  But wait!!  No Worries!!  Help is now on the way!   Cinnamon Software has just the solution.  They have a free downloadable clock that talks and can be displayed right on your screen!  What is really nice is that you can make the clock as big as you want or as small as you want.  You have the option of having it fade out when you place your mouse on it or, for those who enjoy a good chase, you can have the clock run away from your mouse as it approaches it.  There are several different options of clocks to choose from.  Mine is docked in my upper right corner and is large enough for me to be able to give it a quick glance and see the time without any issues.  I also have it set to send me a reminder on the half hour.  What this means is that I have it set so a parrot comes out every on the half hour marks and reminds me of the time.  This is a great tool for me as I frequently lose track of time.  This can be a really great tool for the student who may also lose track of time while doing their homework.  You can set it to remind you every 1/4, 1/2, or full hour and you can set the "reminder" to be one of several different "characters".  It's really quite cute. 

They also offer a free downloadable talking alarm clock that uses Microsoft Agent to talk.  You can set the alarm to play any sound you choose and it also has a snooze button!  The alarm can be set to go off once, daily, weekly, monthly, annually as well as be set to open files, run programs, send email and open web pages.  Now if we could only teach it to do the laundry!  This is another great tool for any student who needs reminders during homework time.  If they have 30 minutes to work on a project you can set it for 1/2 way through and then maybe for when they have 10 minutes left.  This can eventually help them to learn how to schedule and use their time efficiently.

My last shared find is called a "Cube Timer".  It is the cutest little timer that is shaped like a cube with numbers on it.  The numbers are 0, 5, 15, 30, 60.  You turn the cube with the number you want the timer to go off in (5 minutes = the number 5 being on top) and place it on the table.  It's that simple.  This could be a great time-out tool for any child who is 5 years old or older (only because rule of thumb is that a child is in time out for 1 minute for each year of age.  So a 5 year old is in time out for 5 minutes, etc).  It can be used to help children who have trouble finishing tasks.  It could be set for 5 minutes and the child is told "you have 5 more minutes and then when the alarm goes off we are all done with this activity."  The best part is that it is not very expensive.  I have included the link to the Solutions website but if you do a google search I'm sure you will find other websites that offer it.  I'm sure Amazon would be one place to look. 

So those are my finds for this week.  I was so pleased with the seminar given by the Learning Disability Association of CT that I'm going to be looking into what other seminars they may have coming up.  If I find any more useful tid bits I will be sure to share them with you here. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you back here again soon.  ~Wendy

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