Using timers on the IWB
Posted by rosiemacalpine on March 30, 2009
When I used an IWB in a classroom with young children, an onscreen timer was one of the tools that I used several times a day on the board. I noticed a rapid improvement in their ability to monitor their own work pace and ability to complete tasks within a given time frame. I used the timer for the following tasks:
- Silent think time about your story before you share your idea with your partner: 30 seconds
- Finish your writing before recess: 20 minutes
- Time on a learning station before your group rotates to the next station: 10 minutes
- Time to read your book silently before you finish your spelling: 5 minutes
In this post, I will showcase some of the timers included in the Promethean software in addition to timers available on the internet (for all IWBs). I have restricted the choice to timers that you can set at the board (no keyboard required – with one exception).
1. Timers in Activstudio V3
Clock/ countdown timer
You can access this timer by adding the clock to your Toolbox, clicking on the icon and choosing countdown. You can choose from several different sounds or even add your own. You can also set actions to occur at the end of the time e.g. turn the page, take a snapshot of the page.
Resource library timers (Flash)
You can find these timers in Shared ACTivities> Gadgets and Widgets> Timers
My favourite is the candle which melts as the time ticks by.
2. Timers in ActivInspire
Clock/ countdown timer
You can access this timer from the Tools menu or by clicking on the hammer and spanner icon on the Toolbox.
I don’t think it’s quite as user friendly as the timer in Activstudio, as you have to open the clock then choose the countdown option. But the other features are the same.
Resource library timers
In addition to the timers in Activstudio (which you still have access to), this timer has also been added to Inspire in Lesson Building Tools> Gadgets
This is a nice simple flash based timer but doesn’t have any sound attached. It is available in a few different colours.
3. Online timers.
There is a huge number of online stopwatches and countdown clocks, but the majority of them require you to use a keyboard to enter the time at the board. You could use the onscreen keyboard, but I prefer to skip this step if I can. Here are three keyboard-less stop clocks (and one notable exception).
This is a full screen stopwatch with large buttons which is easy to set at the board. A timer sounds when the timer is completed.
This stop clock is from the same source as the counter above but uses a nice sand timer as a display rather than numbers.
In addition to an alarm, the full screen picture flashes red when the time has finished, making it suitable for hearing impaired children.
This is the only timer I used that requires a keyboard to set the time. The great thing about this timer is that you can set the time directly into the web browser. Simply type e.ggtimer.com/ and then type a time after the slash – 4 days, or 3 hours, or 20 minutes etc. I mostly use this to monitor my own work. The remaining time is displayed in hours, minutes and seconds.