5 Ways to Use Timers in Your Elementary Classroom

Timers are an incredibly powerful classroom management tool.  If you aren’t currently using them in your classroom, read below to learn about 5 opportunities where timers can be utilized for the classroom.  Timers in the classroom are a total game changer!

This blog post will…

  • suggest 5 ways to use timers in your classroom
  • recommend four types of timers and how they can be used
  • help you strengthen your classroom management skills

5 Ways to Use Timers in Your Elementary Classroom

  1. Managing special education and RTI pull-out services: If you have a lot of students in your classroom who receive support throughout the school day outside of the general education classroom, it can be difficult to track who needs to go where and when.  The best strategy for managing this is the use of timers on your phone.  Most phones now come with a timer on it.  At the beginning of the school year, consider programming your students’ pull-out schedules in your phone so that the timer notifies you when it is time to send a child to a service or support session.  Your students will never miss a service again!
  2. Managing guided math and guided reading rotations and centers: Your schedule is tight – I totally get it!  As a result, it’s important to monitor the length of time you are spending on each part of your school day.  Consider using an online timer, magnetic timer, or your phone’s timer to help you keep within the time constraints of the school day.  The online timer can be projected on the board or wall so that students can see how much time they have left to work on their task.  Similarly, the magnetic timer can be placed on the board so it’s visible to students.  Your phone timer is a third option.
  3. Managing student library trips: If your students go to the library on their own, consider having them take a hand-held timer with them to make sure they don’t stay too long.  This is particularly helpful for when the library is one of the centers in a workshop framework, where there are time limits allotted to each center.
  4. Managing fact fluency practice: Some school districts require timed practice tests with regards to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.  If this applies to you and you have a math center designated to timed fact practice, consider having students use a hand-held timer at that center.
  5. Managing reading fluency practice: Hand-held timers can also be helpful for monitoring and assessing reading fluency.  Reading fluency, an important part of becoming a proficient reader, involves the ability to read with 1) speed, 2) accuracy, and 3) proper expression.  Timers are a very helpful tool for this.

Online Visual Timer

  • Check out this Online Egg Timer.
  • These days I use an online timer and really feel it helps my friends better manage their time. 
  • The counting down clock is a great tool for keeping them on task.
  • I feared the visual would be distracting, but it hasn’t been a problem.
  • We use it for everything from snackto guided reading. I keep it running on my desktop computer since I’m never at the desk.
  • Setting the clock at the start of a lesson is one of the jobs I assign to a student.
  • I like it in the full screenmode.

Visual Timer

  • Check out this visual timer from Lakeshore.
  • This timer provides a great visual for even the youngest learners.
  • It is especially helpful for the students who sometimes need some assistance staying focused to complete a task. It really helps teach them how to manage their time.
  • I didn’t initially purchase it for the classroom. I bought it for my son during the summer that he boycotted naps, yet I needed my sanity. We implemented a 30 minute “quiet rest time” and I bought this to help put an end to the constant questioning of, “Is it time to get up yet?”
  • I don’t use timers during parent/teacher conferences, but I know a lot of teachers do. I think this would be a great tool for that purpose. It won’t make a rude buzzing or beeping sound to signal time is up, but it will be obvious.

Share it:

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter

You might also like...