Use a timer

Student Contributor: C. Layne
A timer can be useful during classroom, preparing for recess, or getting ready for a transition.

This can be used in any classroom setting; it is a helpful tool when learning transition times. My mentor teacher uses this tool when preparing for recess, when her timer goes off the students know it’s time to go outside!

I chose to put this into the preventative phase because it can prevent long transitioning, it can prepare the kids for working in stations, and students will move quick and easy when getting equipped to using a timer. I feel like this could also fall into the supportive stage to help students be on task and know when to end or begin with little to no direction.

More Information –
Tool Source: Mentor

2 thoughts on “Use a timer”

  1. I am in a classroom of 18 1st graders between the ages of 7-8 in a suburban elementary school. My mentor and I decided that this strategy would be very useful in our classroom because transitions have been taking up more time than usual. When the students realized that all of their assignments were done and started working on the early finishers they would be easily distracted. Since everyone was done with the original activity they would use this time to socialize with their peers instead of working on other things or reading. We implemented this into the classroom a few weeks ago and started to display a timer on the screen when it was time to clean up. The students really enjoyed this because they made it into a game. All the students decided that they would be done before the timer ran out each time. It was very motivational for them because my mentor and I didn’t say it was a competition but this was going to help us be on time for recess, lunch, and specials.

  2. I had the opportunity to utilize a timer to facilitate smoother transitions. I utilized this in a first-grade classroom of about 25 students which is located in an urban neighborhood. The first graders in this class are slow to heed instructions. Therefore, I thought it would be beneficial to attempt a preventive strategy such as using a timer. After giving students directions I would point their attention to the timer, projected on the white board. As students were talking and cutting out their craft, I noticed they would occasionally glance up at the board. If they noticed the time was long, they would continue working. However, if it was under 2 minutes they would hurry. Interestingly, not only would they hurry, but they would also remind their elbow partner to hurry as well. Art can be a difficult class to monitor because each student is different, and some students add more details than others. However, having a timer which they could reference helped students to work at a more similar pace. Similarly, it helped students feel like they knew what the direction of the class was. Next time I utilize this strategy, I will have a student tell me what the expectations are once the timer is up, before releasing them to do their work. This is a beneficial preventive strategy and all it requires is a timer.


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