Pacing: Somewhere between racing and crawling…
Within any given class, there is usually a student who is so speedy, that he is always the first one finished with an assignment.
Andy, by the way, he hasn’t read the directions, his work is illegible, and he probably skips a few items, but by golly, he’s the first one done!
In that same class are one or two students who have the amazing ability to make a fifteen minute task take approximately forever.
Whether speedy or slow, the rate at which these students are working does not match the task and is affecting both their efficiency and effectiveness. In order to be focused and ready to study, students need to develop an awareness and control over their internal time clock.
To help them do this, we draw a diagram of a time clock or personal speedometer. The time clock has numbers on it from 0 to 10. Together, we explore and role play what different speeds on the time clock might feel like.
For example, if you are at 0, you’re asleep. At 10, you’re running the 50 yard dash. A good working speed is somewhere between the two and he three. As we work with students, we frequently ask them to check and see what speed they are working at. If they are speeding up or dragging, they are probably losing their focus and need to re-adjust their working speed.
Some students become so in-tune with their internal time clock that they consciously begin to set their speed for various tasks. This helps them to get focused, get started, and monitor their attention throughout a task.
A student who uses this tool may want to have a “Getting Started Question” that says, “Is my internal time clock set at 5?” With a little help, students can begin noticing and working at a pace that is right for their best performance.