Dear CHOICES Presenters and Program Managers,
We want your input on changes we are making to the CHOICES Time Management activity. If you’re interested in helping us, please read on.
In the 2011-2012 school year we introduced numerous revisions to CHOICES that made the workshop more impactful, on-point, accessible, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and more closely and consistently aligned with similar efforts in our field, without sacrificing any essential material or deviating from the workshop’s purpose, goals and core message. These revisions have been very well received, but we know that there is always room for improvement.
We have received several comments on the revisions to the time management exercise that have led us to consider improvements to this activity. Before we make any changes, however, we wanted to get your ideas on how this activity can be further improved. Below is some background on this activity and below that is our request to you.
The previous version of the time management exercise focused on how much free time students have in a typical week, using a graphic on an overhead projector of two time clocks. While this was a popular exercise with presenters, it did not offer any actual techniques for managing time better – it just made the point that teens have a lot of free time and they should use it well.
The new version provides a specific technique for identifying and prioritizing the important things that need to get done in a day, and scheduling these things first so they will get done. We use a cereal analogy that is based on a popular time management technique using rocks, gravel, sand and water in a large glass jug. Since it is not practical or cost-effective for every CHOICES presenter to bring these items into the classroom, we chose to go with the cereal analogy and ask students to imagine the cereal bowl, clusters, flakes and the milk. We use this variation because many kids love cereal for breakfast and can therefore relate well to it.
We have not received many negative comments on this activity, but those that have commented have said it is difficult to explain, not interactive, and therefore boring and ineffective. So we’re interested in your ideas to make it easier to explain and more interactive for the students, while still teaching them actual time management skills – and all in 10 minutes.
Please submit your idea to us as soon as possible, and no later than Thursday, June 20, 2013, in order for it to be considered. We may or may not use your idea, but the more ideas we get, the better chance we have of making this activity the best it can be for our students.
Thanks very much – we look forward to your great ideas!