Digital Timers for Virtual Learning Breaks

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I am teaching First Grade virtually 100% through at least the end of December.  In my District, parents were offered the option of in-person or virtual learning.  They will have the option to change their decision after the first semester.  We had so many families sign up, that two teachers on my grade level team had to teach virtually.  Each grade level at our school has at least one teacher teaching virtually.

Of course, with First Graders, it is a lot to ask them to sit in front of a screen for long periods of time.  In the classroom, students are constantly getting up and moving to different locations in the classroom.  Virtually, though, that isn’t as easy.  To help, after every mini-lesson or whenever I see students losing attention/needing a break, I give the class a five or ten-minute break.  They can use this time to get up and move, go to the bathroom, get a snack, get water, etc.

On Zoom, I simply share my screen and click ‘play’ on one of these videos.  The videos count down the time, and the music changes over the course of the video, which helps signal to students how much time is remaining.  It has worked really well with my class, and almost all students are back to their learning spots by the end of the break.

Video countdowns are also available for one-minute and three-minute breaks, if needed:

I hope these countdown timers are useful with your class!  Enjoy!