Kids have an amazing ability to live ‘in the moment’ and not worry about what lies ahead of them in the hours, days or even months ahead. However, learning time management skills can help free them up to become independent learners and thinkers and helps elevate stress.
At Dwight School Dubai, time management skills are embedded into the curriculum and is part of their unit of inquiry. Teachers give students feedback on their time management, so that students can reflect on that skill and implement improvements.
Interested to learn more? Listen as Sara Sankari, Associate Head of Lower Prep shares her top 5 tips for time management.
Starting early as Pre-K. teachers begin with using timers and explaining to students the importance of being on task and reflecting. As students grow, responsibility with time management and organisation is more on them and the expectation is that they can do it independently by the end of PYP (Grade 5).
Planning ensures that the student knows what tasks are required and understand what needs to finish. Being organized means focusing time on getting the tasks done rather than figuring out what to do. There are various tools used by teachers at Dwight School Dubai which are introduced to students to help them plan more efficiently and understand the concept of being organized, such as checklists, to-do lists and a planning calendar. Students are also given tasks so they can implement what they have learnt in real life, such as to plan an exhibition for the school to further help strengthen their sense of planning tasks and schedule.
Being organized and focusing on priorities means that tasks get done one at a time by prioritizing most important to least and ensuring to stay on task. Teachers play a big role in guiding the students and help make them aware of the priorities in specific tasks.
Managing distractions ensures students are staying on task and not getting pulled in different directions. This goes hand in hand with setting priorities and going through them in order of importance. The most important point with managing distractions is that each individual needs to have an understanding of what works for them best, so this doesn’t mean that one necessarily needs a quiet space to work from as each person is different to the other, while some prefer to work in quiet spaces others prefer working in busy spaces or with the music on for example.
It’s important to reflect on progress and assess whether the strategy and the plan is working or not.
Teachers at Dwight School Dubai set weekly meetings with the students to reflect on their schedule and plan for the week and discuss what worked, what didn’t and what needs to be changed for a smoother planning moving forward. Planning a reflection and reassessment meeting with students at the end of each week, will gear them up for the new week.
It’s important to use technology in the right way - to help save time, be more effective and more productive. Don't get distracted or side tracked by technology and social interactions. Dwight School Dubai focuses heavily on teaching students how to use their devices effectively and how to utilize them in gathering authentic and real information.
To further help kids embrace these time management skills, it’s important that they have structure, routine and consistency in their daily lives. While there’s an aspect that needs to be filled with surprises and adventures, routine is hugely important as it teaches kids what to expect throughout the day which is great for their mental health and reduces anxiety.
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