10 Tools to Keep Students on Task from the Start

Keeping students organized and on-task is one of the biggest challenges teachers face. Having the right tools to help with this can make the difference between a successful school year and a stressful one. Start the school year off right by pointing students in the direction of these 10 tools to keep students organized and on-task.

Classroom Tools

Online Stopwatch

Online Stopwatch features a collection of timers and stopwatches to use in the classroom. Display one on your whiteboard to let students how much time they have left on a task, use them to time stations and games or use the cash clock to help students understand the value of their time.

PikMe

The PikMe app helps teachers learn student names and randomly pick students to call on or to assign to groups. Students will be encouraged to stay on –task because they never know when their names will be called to participate in class. Teachers will stay organized and on top of student participation with this handy app.

Stick Pick

Stick Pick is another app designed to randomly select students to call on. However, the app goes beyond just randomly calling on students. It also suggests question starters based on a student’s ability level or the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Teachers rate student responses based on the amount of critical thinking involved as a type of formative assessment.

Too Noisy

With the Too Noisy app, teachers can encourage students to keep the noise in the classroom at an acceptable level. When the classroom gets too noisy, the background of the app changes, indicating students need to quiet down. The app is designed to be projected onto a TV or interactive whiteboard. Sensitivity levels can be adjusted for different types of activities.

Assign-a-Day

Assign-a-Day is a calendar for teachers to use to help keep students informed. Teachers create class calendars, then add assignments to those calendars to help students keep up with assignments.  Assignments may span multiple days and multiple teachers may add to a calendar.

Organization Tools

Notely

Notely is an app designed to allow students to take notes, then instantly upload them to their Dropbox accounts. Using the app, students can take notes directly in class and instantly have a saved RTF file of their notes to access later. They can also quickly jot down due dates and other important information.

30 Boxes

30 Boxes is an online calendar designed to help students keep all of their assignments and activities straight.  Students can add events and information from Facebook and share schedules with friends and family members.

NowDoThis

NowDoThis is a very simple tool for completing a to-do list. Students and teachers simply enter a to-do list and click “ready.” The tool then lists each item on the list, only showing the next item once the first item has been completed. It’s an ideal tool for focusing students who are easily overwhelmed by multiple tasks.

My Homework

My Homework helps students manage their projects, homework assignments and other activities all through one application.  The app can be accessed online or through mobile devices, making it easy for students to always stay on task.

Lifetick

Lifetick is a goal-setting and motivation tool. Setting and working towards goals helps motivate students and keep them on-task. Lifetick helps students set S.M.A.R.T. goals, sends reminders about the goals and provides a journal for them to document the process of reaching their goals.

In addition to introducing these tools to students, use some of them yourself. The more organized you are, the more likely your students will be on top of what is going on in the classroom and the easier it will be to judge who is really on-task.

About the author : sam