Great Online Visual Timers for Kids
The last two years I have been using online timers (these here) for almost every part of the day. I first started using them to help me keep on schedule but I wasn’t expecting how much the kids would enjoy having them displayed during working time. The best part of the timers is most of them have a visual aspect that helps the kids learn about time. My class last year had a true understanding of time (as it relates to minutes) because we used this tool every day. More importantly, it gave them a sense of control while working because they were able to understand the time they had to work. Thinking back before I used these timers I realized I had often had issues with kids lacking time management but did not give them tools to help. We have used them from day one this year and my new class loves them just as much. I know it is a tool that is important to them because when I forget about the timer they are quick to let me know! We use the candle, countdown, egg and bar timer the most. For special occasions we will use the rocket timer.
One thing I have found that helps my kindergarten class is to break the time into two when it is longer than 15 minutes. For example, our literacy center time is 30 minutes so every day for literacy we have two 15 minute timers. The kids know the first timer is half way and then we start the timer again for the second half.