Transition Timers

Student Contributor: M. McLeod
Timers can be used to facilitate smooth transitions in the classroom. You can choose any length of time for your timer, whatever works for you. Timers for transitions also provide brain break’s for students throughout the day.

This tool is super easy to implement into your classroom and can be done in a variety of ways. You can get a physical timer and start it each time you transition, or you can look up timers on YouTube. In my classroom we use timers from YouTube, typically ranging from 1-4 minutes. To use the timers simply display the timer on the board so the students can see how much time is left. Before starting the timer give the students their instructions for what you’re transitioning to (ex. Transitioning into math; tell students that they’ll need their math books and to be back at their own seats.) this lets the students know what they need and where they need to be when the timer goes off. While the timer is going the students can get up, move around, and talk to their peers. These timers are great for when students are getting restless and need a brain break and they also allow for the teacher to have a few minutes to prepare for what’s next if needed.

I placed transition timers in the preventative phase as this is the best fit. Transition timers fit well into the preventative phase because they can be implemented and established in your classroom early on and they allow students brain breaks before each section of the day allowing them to engage better throughout lessons. This tool could also fall in the supportive phase as it supports student learning by allowing them to get energy out before focus time. As far as theories go, I would say that this fits best in student directed and collaborative. This tool fits best here as it is used to facilitate smooth transitions and brain breaks to help the classroom run smoothly.

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Tool Source: Mentor

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