8 ways to use a visual timer in the classroom
Many teachers and professors know the benefits of using a timer in the classroom. It gives structure and increases student’s participation and focus. No more looking at your watch all day – just add a countdown clock in your PowerPoint presentation. Get inspired by these 8 ideas for using the timer.
1. Work in small groups
Reflecting on exercises, discussing a topic, brainstorming ideas for a new project: working in groups increases participation, sociability, and creativity in the classroom. To prevent teamwork turning into too much fun and chaos, set a visual timer, for as it creates urgence. With a time limit, your students will get down to business quickly.
2. Focus time
Teaching can be hard and exhausting, with kids talking and screaming all day. Nothing more satisfying than spending an hour in silence. Let them read a chapter for themselves, make exercises or whatsoever. With a timer, it will be more manageable for the kids to keep their mouths shut for a moment. Enjoy this peace as long as you can…
3. Written test
A PowerPoint Timer is a great feature during a written test. It’s also a good opportunity to prepare your students for an official exam with a time limit.
4. Icebreaker exercise
Let your students get in the flow of your topic by letting them compete against each other or themselves. Set a timer for 2 minutes and let them write down as many words as possible, for example:
- 📜 History – US presidents, countries that don’t exist anymore, historical eras;
- 🌎 Geography – European capitals, states of America;
- 🧮 Math – Square numbers, starting at 2;
- 🆒 A language – Words starting with the last letter of the previous word;
- 🧪 Chemistry – Elements of the periodic table.
- …et cetera! Let your creativity flow!
Teaching a class for longer than an hour? Give your students a break. Let them grab some coffee – or for the younger ones, a lemonade – and let them stretch a bit. Great moment for you to check on your messages, as well.
When multiple students need to give a presentation in sequence, time can work against you. Not with a visual timer! Set a clear time for each student by adding a timer to your PowerPoint slides. Seeing the time ticking away may work on their nerves a bit, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
7. Elevator pitch
The elevator pitch is a short way – maximum 60 seconds – of presenting yourself or a topic. A great way to pass the microphone to multiple students during your class! Make it organized by using the timer, so everyone will keep it short and sweet.
At the end of the day, concentration may reach a low point. This calls for… Game time! For example 30 Seconds, or Pictionary. No need of an old-fashioned hourglass or eggtimer, just add a timer into your slides.