When the staring off and "thinking" eat up time... in K-8 Curriculum Board Posted January 20, 2014 We use a timer, but in a different way. We do 20 minutes of focus, then 5 of mess around. My drifter just does this all day. He knows he only has to focus for 20 minutes at a time. When he was the age of your dd we did 15 and 5. During the 5 minutes, he can't sit. He can go to the bathroom, get a snack, do jumping jacks, run around the house like a mad man etc..., but he has to get out of his chair. The other thing I do, is that I will change the order of how we do things. Sometimes Math is first, sometimes middle, sometimes the end of the day. It brings him out of his rut. In 3rd grade he really struggled. We got him an exercise ball to sit on. Peppermint is also supposed to be good for memory. So we sometimes will give him peppermint gum. If he starts drifting he has to spit out the gum.