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Time Management Balls




Time Management bag of balls (found in Mentor Closet), paper, and tape


20 minutes


To introduce students to the themes of prioritizing, time management and communication with others.


Have the class form themselves into a circle (outside/inside, with/without desks)

Together make a list of the elements that take student time, i.e. studying, family, etc.

Assign each of these elements to a ball.  The size of the ball chosen should be proportional to amount of time the element occupies.  (Opinion differences may exist)

Label the ball with the element it is being assigned.  (Use small pieces of paper or 1/2 an index card.) This step may be done verbally if you prefer.

Ask for four or five volunteers to be in the middle of the circle.
Instructions for those in the circle’s middle:  Formulate a plan to catch as many of the balls from the outer circle when they are tossed into the air at the same time.  Ask the small group how many balls they believe that they can catch.  Allow them a minute or two to conference.

Hand each student remaining in the outer circle a foam ball.
When the small group is ready, count to 3 and have the students in the outer circle toss their balls into the air in the direction of the circle’s middle.

Count the number caught.
Repeat 2 or 3 more times, asking the circle if they want to change the number of balls that they believe that they can catch.

Debriefing:  What do these balls represent?
Look at how many balls are in the middle of the circle.  How do you feel about having to juggle all these elements of daily life?  Does it feel like an overwhelming task?
Was the inner group able to live up to their expectations?  Why or why not?

How could they have improved their collection?

How can one begin to juggle all the elements in their lives?  What are some ways that time management is possible? 

Would the size of the balls change for individual people? What does this mean?

How could this activity relate to improving communication skills?

Untitled Document

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