The Best Classroom Timers for Teachers

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Why You Need Timers In Your Classroom

Elegant Sandtimer

The classroom is dictated by time. Some lessons are 30 minutes, other 45 and some schools have bizarre lesson lengths like 53-minute lessons. It doesn’t matter if you are secondary or primary. As a teacher, there is pressure on you to get through your learning intentions and to keep kids focussed and on track. Timers can easily come to an educators rescue. These are indispensable tools and every teacher should be using them.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.
Michael Altshuler

Having a timer in your classroom is a valuable commodity and can be used for both individual students or whole class instruction. From keeping track of the length of an activity or counting down the time left in an assessment, having at least one on hand can be a lifesaver.


What Sort of Timer Will I Need?

The timers that you need will be dependent on your teaching context. Support staff may want small sandtimers which are easily transported and can be inconspicuous in their placement. Classroom teachers may want bigger, more accessible timers that can be displayed at the front of the room. If you have a whiteboard you may want to consider an electronic one.


Electronic Timers

Electronic timers are terrrific. They don’t cost much (if anything) and they are relatively simple to set up. You do need to have a computer and / or electronic whiteboard to project on. Some quality examples of eletronic timers (aside from the timer on your phone) would include:

Screenshot of timers from Online Stopwatch

Online StopWatch, which includes numerous categories, including themed timers such as “Dynamite”, “Sports”, “Animal” and “Motor”. This is a website well worth exploring. While free, they also have a premium membership option that provides an ad-free experience. This is a perfect resource for classroom games or general assessments.

Classtools timer

The other option you could consider would be another free timer at Classtools.net

Easily set your time, this tool gives the user the option of having a soundtrack as well as toggling to full screen. The extra bonus is that the embed code is available for those wishing to put it in a website, blog or wiki.


Physical Timers

While electronic timers can be convenient, there is nothing that can replace the real thing. Fortunately, they now come in many shapes and sizes. They use sand, liquid or even electronics to keep the time.

These timers are well worth the investment. The visual response that these tools provide can be a wonderful tool for calming children and will be an asset to any learning environment.

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