Children thrive with predictable schedules. As a former elementary teacher and now a consultant that works in elementary classrooms, I can't tell you how many times I have heard "When is lunch?" or "How much longer until recess?". Any experienced teacher will tell you how important it is to have a schedule displayed in the classroom to help students navigate through their day. I was always so excited to get to our time unit when I taught second grade just so I could encourage my students to figure out when lunch was happening and how much longer they had until recess by using our classroom clock.
Now that so many students are learning online at home and have very detailed schedules to follow, I think it is important for parents to make sure children are familiar with their daily schedule and take part in figuring out whenthey need to sign-on to participate in live online lessons and how much longer they have until their next break. Here is a sample schedule for an elementary student. Notice how this student has to sign-in for live lessons three different times on a Monday:
For any child (even an adult!) that is a lot to manage. I can't even imagine what parents are doing who have multiple children. Time management has to be on point!
But schedules like these really are nothing new. Kids are busy. Between school, sporting events, extra help and other extracurricular activities, kids are constantly on the go. How can we help them manage their busy schedules?
Using the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 to Manage Busy Schedules
Recently I discovered VTech®'s KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 and it is an absolute game changer for any parent who is juggling different schedules at home. This kid-friendly smartwatch lets children tell time, set reminders and timers, take pictures and videos, play games and more! It includes two cameras that allow children to capture everything from action videos to selfies, which would be great for academic photo hunts. Children will love the games that come ready to play and involve augmented reality. Kids can also use the smartwatch's motion sensor for active play challenges or to track steps, especially when they need movement breaks throughout the day. There are so many uses for this smartwatch!
What I especially like about this versatile smartwatch is that kids have the ability to manage their own schedules by easily accessing:
● both a digital and analog clock
All of the tools mentioned above can truly help kids take ownership of their schedules and feel in charge. I like how a child can try to read the analog time and then double check it by quickly tapping the screen to switch over to a digitalformat. This is great for self-checking and kids will no longer have to confirm with an adult if they were reading their watch correctly. The watch will even read the time aloud when the speech button is pressed.
Children can set alarms or reminders to be notified when they have to login to their next online meeting.
The smartwatch's calendar can help kids understand the days of the week and when the weekend or fun future events are approaching. Parents can ask their child questions like "What day of the week will the 15th be?" or "What was the date two days ago?". Their kids can quickly pull up their calendar to help them answer correctly. Something like this could be turned into a search and find "game" when in the car or waiting at the doctor's office.
The timer and stopwatch could be used to track independent reading time and other activities. Get the kids up and moving by having them count how many one-legged hops they can do in 15 seconds or how many seconds it takes them to do 10 jumping jacks.
Truly the possibilities are endless!
I highly recommend the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 for any child 4+.
Julie Smith is an Instructional Technology Consultant from Saline, Michigan and also works with 826 Michigan in the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Public Schools. She is the author of the blog The Techie Teacher®. Julie holds a National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy, is a certified Reading Specialist, spent ten years as an elementary classroom teacher and was an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for several years when she lived in Virginia.