Classroom timers are simple tools that can have many uses and benefits in the classroom. From taking tests and quizzes, to timing turns during games and presentations, and encouraging students to move quickly from one activity to the next, a timer can keep a classroom functioning smoothly. Students often focus better on a task when they have a clear sense of when it starts and ends.
Classroom timers with a visual representation of the time passed and time remaining also helps children to develop a sense of time and employ important time management skills. Classroom timers have nearly endless uses: use one minute timers to limit turn times during an educational game, give students a specific amount of time to complete a group project, provide a specific time for a writing assignment, give the class a time to ask the teacher questions, and much more.
Best Classroom Timers
The Foxnovo Colorful Sandglass Hourglass Sand Clock Timer is actually a set of six colorful and multi-purpose classroom timers. Each hourglass tracks a different length of time: 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. They are made of durable PVC, ABS, sand, and glass. Consider using timers to motivate students. For example: how many math problems can you solve in 5 minutes? Or, give students 10 minutes to complete a short quiz. The colorful sand helps both teacher and students keep track of time for any remaining task.
Despite the redundant name, the Time Timer is a simple and useful tool for the classroom. It’s particularly helpful in teaching time management; the timer offers both a numerical and visual representation of elapsed time and time remaining for any given task. As time passes, the amount of color increases so that students have a feel of how much time they have left for a test, quiz, writing assignment, or nearly anything that needs to be completed within a specific time. As the teacher you can choose whether or not the timer beeps when time is up.
Particularly useful for tests and tasks that take 10 minutes or more, the Amco Color Alert Timer works for up to 60 minutes. It’s standout feature is that it takes only a quick glance from students to gain an idea of how much time they have left, without actually having to see the numbers. Even students in the back of the classroom will be able to recognize the bright, vibrantly colored light on this timer. When set, the timer blinks green, with ten minutes remaining it blinks yellow, and switches to blinking red when there is only one minute left.
The Sand Timer Set Large includes ten one minute hourglass classroom timers. This set of timers is reasonably priced; each student or small group of students could have their own colorful, durable timer that they can see easily while completing certain tasks. Dividing activities and focus into short, one minute increments helps to keep children focused and on task. A timer with a sort duration is also useful when children are playing educational games that require turns. They must start the timer when their turn starts and if they can’t finish their turn within one minute, they forfeit that turn. It keeps the game moving forward.
The Learning Resources Time Tracker Mini is a particularly versatile classroom timer. It offers students both visual and auditory warnings for when time is running short and when time is actually up. The versatility lies in the way that teachers can configure these alerts. There are two dials for setting the timer: one for total time and the second is for the warning indicators. The alarm time can be set anywhere from five minutes up to two hours in five minute increments. The indicator light changes from green to yellow when the timer reaches the warning threshold and red when time is up. The timer can also be configured for auditory indicators when the warning threshold is reached or the activity is finish. This timer has a multitude of uses from test taking, to timing reading and writing, or playing games.
Teachers are certain to find a multitude of uses for this simple, digital classroom timer. Somewhat uniquely, the Learning Resources Digital Timer counts time both up and down so it works as a stopwatch as well as simply signaling the end of a timed activity. This timer sticks to magnetic surfaces for visibility or it has a clip making it convenient for teachers to carry with them. The alarm beep is loud enough that no one in the classroom will miss the end of any timed activity. It’s useful for timing presentations or encouraging kids to move along during classroom transitions like lining up for lunch or getting together materials for beginning a new subject.
The Deercy Digital Kitchen Timer with Large LCD Display is a sleek looking digital timer that works great at home or in the classroom. It’s an incredibly simple timer; set time for any activity up to 99 minutes and 50 seconds. It’s easy to set and there are no buttons to press. Just twist the timer clockwise for to count up and counter-clockwise to count down. A loud bell alert sounds when time is up, and lasts for up to 60 seconds so no one will miss the alert. The large LCD screen is easy to see and the timer attaches with a magnet to any available magnetic surface. This clever timer comes in several bright, fun colors.
The Datexx The Miracle Cube Timer is a unique timer that is a neat addition to any classroom. It doesn’t have the versatility of some of the other classroom timers, but it looks cool, is fun and simple to use, and easily serves its purpose as a timer. Teachers have the choice of timing activities for 1, 5, 10, and 15 minutes. To start the timer, set the number of the desired amount of time on top. A digital timer shows the amount of time left, and when time is up a loud beep sounds until the timer is turned so that the “0” is facing up.
The Stoplight Goliath Timer is a simple timer that even the youngest students can understand. Set the timer for 0-15 hours and 0-59 minutes. When the timer is set, the light turns red, telling the students to STOP and focus. It turns green when time is up so that students know they can move forward to the next activity. Consider using it to differentiate individual and group activities. For example, set the timer for ten minutes when students should be working on their own and then allow them to work in a group after the light turns green. Also useful for nap time with the youngest children; they will know to stay quiet until the light turns green.
Classroom timers have a multitude of uses for teachers and students. Share your favorite classroom timers in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, GabrielaP93.