Pacing Tools are devices or online applications that the teacher uses to time activities and maximize instructional time. These tools help students pace and plan their work-time by knowing how much time they have left to discuss an issue or complete an assignment. Student motivation is heightened by an intrinsic desire, within most students, to beat the clock. Teachers can use Pacing Tools with students during independent practice, workstations, brainstorming activities, question and answer sessions, timed tests and quizzes, think or wait time, or during group work/discussions.
- Create an objective-driven lesson with aligned activities.
- Determine the places in the lesson where urgency will be important, where students might have a hard time staying engaged/on-task, or where racing the clock might bring joy or excitement to students.
- Decide on the ideal length of time for students to complete those places in the lesson.
- Use a kitchen timer, stopwatch, or online stopwatch to pace student work-time and communicate activity expectations to the students. Explain to students that they need to pace themselves in order to complete the assignment within the allotted time.
- Ask students to put pencils down and/or stop their work when time is up.
- Be consistent using the tools so students learn the procedure.