Time Well Spent – Promethean Timer App

The Promethean Timer App shown on large and small screens

A key part of being an effective educator is making the most of the instructional period. After each ActivPanel is updated with ActivConnect software, it will be equipped with a new tool that enhances time management while prompting student engagement – the Promethean Timer App is perfect for every teaching style and class size.

As teachers switch roles from lead demonstrator to facilitator, students are asked to take ownership of their learning experiences.  In a foreign language classroom, it is vital to stay in the target language and obtain intercultural knowledge. Think-Pair-Share type activities are a great way to achieve these goals. They require minimal prep, serve as an excellent beginning or end to a class, and are especially helpful for blended learning classrooms.

With its capability to set up to four individual timers, the Promethean Timer app can be helpful to every step of the Think-Pair-Share process. For example, at the end of a week the teacher may ask students to describe their favorite weekend activities in the target language as a timed “free write Friday” event (think). When the timer goes off, students will have another 15 minutes to serve as peer editors in a group of 2 or 3 (pair). Groups with comprehensible essays may advance to the last step. As the students improve, just adjust the timer to new goals.

After practicing high-frequency words and phrases, the teacher can tie in the main concepts through a popular review game such as Mafia (share). The stopwatch function on the Timer app is set as soon as cards are dealt to all qualifying students. The students are divided into competing teams. When a team successfully ends the round by “capturing” all students with an ace card, they timestamp the process by tapping the stop button in the Timer app. The team with the best time on the stopwatch wins the Mafia game and receives a small prize.

Another effective function on the Timer app is the toggle setting (indicated by the two-directional arrows). With the app in this position, it can be moved to any part of the ActivPanel display and simultaneously operate with another app. Two apps I have used both as a Spanish teacher and language learner are Duolingo and Quizlet. It’s conducive to use these apps in conjunction with the Timer app because it gives teachers the flexibility to set customized timed goals, so they can formatively assess student progress throughout the school year.

For more information to make your classroom Promethean-friendly, check out the recommended link below:

  • Annabelle Allen, 2018 Louisiana’s Foreign Language Teacher of the Year, is a Spanish teacher at Bricolage Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her blog La Maestra Loca features lots of CI language acquisition strategies and curriculum materials for teachers of all levels.

Author: Brent Hawk is an Education Consultant for Promethean in New York City. He taught high school Spanish for 6 years in Ohio, where he implemented a Comprehensible Input (CI) based curriculum to promote cultural fluency –– which is part of the school district’s 1:1 Chromebook initiative grant. He enjoys long-distance running, traveling, watching Ohio State Buckeyes football, and cooking food that’s way too spicy for his wife in Brooklyn.