After a brain break or at the end of a game or partner activity, students need to learn to reel themselves back in. They need to self-monitor and prepare themselves to mentally get back into a quiet, focused learning mode.
Having a visible timer on your SmartBoard or Promethean Board is an excellent way to keep track of how much time your students have left to enjoy their break.
Your students won’t be taken by surprise when you tell them that the activity or break has reached its end.
I highly recommend that you visit Online-Stopwatch.com . This site has been a favorite site of mine since I first started using my Promethean Board.
It’s free, and it even offers a Classroom Timers section, with several fun, interesting ways to keep track of the time students have left.
I make a folder in the bookmarks bar in Chrome, and I keep several of my favorite online stopwatches bookmarked there.
There are traditional timers, such as a simple digital stopwatch, an hourglass, or a circle countdown.
But there are also many surprisingly interesting countdown timers, such as a car race, a swimming race, and even a hilarious, agonizingly slow snail race.
Sometimes I find my early finisher students actually watching the timers instead of chatting with their friends!
A word of advice: stay away from the dynamite timer, and be sure to mute your speakers if you use the fireworks timer. The former doesn’t show great judgment on your part, and the latter can be startling when the pop of the fireworks is heard. There are plenty of other fun timers that do the job with none of the potential headaches.