Classroom timers are a great tool for helping students understand when a transition is going to take place. In my classroom, we used a timer before our morning meeting, after centers, and at other times throughout the day.
In the morning, as students are in various stages of completing their morning activities, I will let them know that timer is being set for when they need to finish and proceed to the carpet for morning meeting. About 5-10 minute ahead of time, I tell them how much time they have left and set the timer. In some classrooms I've worked in, I have used a timer on my computer that was synced with my ActivBoard, but in other less supplied classrooms, I've used a simple kitchen timer.
A great resource for fun classroom timers you can use on your computer is Online Stopwatch.
Here are some great choices for classroom timers:
Learning Resources Time Tracker Mini: This timer provides both auditory and visual cues for students, including a warning system to help transition students. Time can be set anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours. Counts down and changes color from green to red.
Learning Resources Time Tracker: This timer is similar to the Mini (above) except that it has more functions. Three lights can be programmed, including yellow, and six different alerts can be set. This model also has a digital timer.
Learning Resources Magnetic Timer: This is a great, simple timer that sticks to any magnetic surface in your classroom. The timer can be set anywhere from one minute up to twenty four hours. Alarm can be visual, audio, or both.
Stoplight/Golight: This timer helps everyone manage time simply. It's red light/green light concept is easily relatable to everyone, even children as young as 2 years old. Simply set desired amount of time. Press START and red light illuminates which signals for child to STOP and FOCUS on task at hand. Once time is up, green light illuminates which lets the child know time is up and it is time to GO.
Big Digit Timer: Simple multipurpose timer. Beeps when time is up. That is all!
Kitchen Timer (owl pictured): Another simple multipurpose timer. If you only need a simple alert when time is up, this one should work for you.
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