A Timer and a Freebie

The last month or so I've had a wonderful time reviewing a produce from SmileMakers. I use timers for everything. I have a stash. Everyone laughs because I often have two or three timers out for groups-one for me for the group time; one for a specific task that they do daily like sounds and letters; and a third should a student need a minute or two. This year I have several students who need visual support to manage time. I reviewed the Time Tracker
Visual Timer & Clock.

I loved:
  • 3 colored lights and 6 sound effects that alert children to time remaining
  • Helps students learn to manage time 
  •  Viewing and a large, easy-to-read LCD display
  • Time break down: 80%, 15%, and 5%
Some challenges the timer has:
  • Poor directions; not easy to change times
  • The main drawback is that the controls are awkward
  • Engineering is horrible
  • No AC Adapter and to use 4 AA batteries
There is both a manual and an automatic mode, but they are both pretty similar. "Manual" means you set the amount of time for each phase, along with the optional sounds. "Automatic" means you set the total time, and the percentage of the total for each phase. Once you have a standard one set, you can reuse it but if you need to change it you have to do some button-pushing.

My students love when I use the timer. It has helped students manage their time for projects and settle my students with autism. With the programming challenges, I would only this product if you always want to use the same time span. I say this because you can set a default time which is relatively easy to reuse. Once set, I added voice warnings to tell students when the colors had changed. This is probably my favorite feature of the timer. When I'm working with students, I'm not always in sight of the timer and can hear it and check in with students from wherever I happen to be in the room. I love that SmileMakers has a program designed with a teachers budget in mind.

I love that SmileMakers offers Teacher Perks, added savings, just for teachers. Teachers will receive free shipping with any order of $49 or more or $4.99 flat rate shipping with any order of $48.99 or less. Teachers will also get special private sales & free gift offers. You don't even have to bother with a coupon code: if they're teachers, they will qualify for the free shipping offer!

It's been a while since I've had a freebie. This one is two closed syllable real and nonsense words and fluency work. These cards can be used for Wilson, Just Words, or small group syllable practice.


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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