Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Presenters

Countdown Timer
Hourglass Timer
Seconds Timer
Stoplight Timer
Interval Timer
Turn Timer
Analog Clock
Digital Clock


Alarm Clock
• Analog Stopwatch
Digital Stopwatch
Split Stopwatch
Click any link for more TimerTools ideas and activities


Countdown Timer, Hourglass & Seconds Timer


TimerTools Links

Set the time to 5 minutes on the Hourglass. Have students work in teams to list as many ideas as they can in the time allotted.

Timed Breaks
End breaks on time, every time with a countdown. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Everyone will know exactly when he or she needs to be back in their seats. Breaks include:

• Brain Break
• Food Break
• Stretch Break
• Free Time

Indoors Lunch or Recess
Project the timer for the class to see how much time is remaining before lunch is over.

Quick Consensus
Teach students to quickly make decisions. Set the timer for 2 minutes. Inform teams that when their time is up, they will have to write their decision on the board. No additional time will be granted.

Practicing a New Skill
Set the time for students to work on a new skill independently, in pairs, or in small teams.

Reading Time/Assignment
Give students 20 minutes for their reading assignment or free reading time.

Timed Tests and Quizzes
Project for students how much time they have remaining so they can manage the amount of time they spend on each question or test section.

Processing Break
Set the timer for 10 minutes. Begin lecturing. When the alarm goes off, it's time to take a break and allow participants to process their new learning.


Parent/Teacher Conferences
Keep those conferences on schedule using a timer.

Question and Answer Sessions
After a presentation: Set the timer to as long you want to entertain audience questions.

Beat the Clock
Make the most menial tasks fun when you challenge the class to “beat the clock”. Inform students you plan to set the timer for 3 minutes. See if they can have their projects put away, desks clear, and all are seated before time's up.

Jeopardy Responses
Set the timer for 15 seconds. If students don't have an answer by the alarm time, give them the correct answer. If they do get the answer correct, reset the timer.

Quieting the Class
Set the timer for 5 seconds. Have students count down in unison "5-4-3-2-1." When the alarm goes off, it's time to be seated or quiet.

Think Time or Wait Time
Set 5–10 seconds on the Seconds Timer. Ask the class a question and start the timer. When time is up, select a student to respond. These 5–10 seconds improves students thinking skills and how they respond to a question.

Seconds Timer for Youngsters and Special Education
When working with individuals who don't grasp the concept of seconds and minutes, use the Seconds Timer. The big numbers and the visual progress bar will alert them as to when the alarm will go off.

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Interval Timer

Getting Acquainted
Do you have a large group and want them to get to know each other in a fun and fast way? Have the group form pairs. Set the Interval Timer for 2 minutes. Partners have two minutes to learn as much information about each other as they can. They form a new pair after each 2-minute interval. Here are some getting acquainted topics they can discuss with their partners:

For Students
• Name
• Nickname
• Favorites (Hobby, subject, color, pet…)
• What I did over the weekend or break.

For Adults
• Name
• Job Description
• Domicile
• Family
• Free Time Activities

Turns in Large Group
Make sure everyone gets his or her turn for the equal amount of time. Set the Interval Timer for 45 seconds. When the time's up, it's the next person's turn to:

• Share a problem
• Share a solution to a problem
• Lead the group
• Examine and pass the model


Rotate Roles
Let everyone on the team get a chance to fulfill each role. Equalize participation. Write four roles related to the project in a central location. For example, the four roles of a science project could be:

1. Recorder
2. Measurer
3. Cutter
4. Colorer

Set the Interval Timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, students rotate roles in numerical sequence. The student who was the Recorder now becomes the Measurer.

Pairing and Sharing
Have students pair up. Start the Interval Timer for 1 minute. Ask the class a question and have them discuss it in pairs. At the end of the interval, they quickly find a new partner and discuss the same question or a new question posed by the leader. To equalize participation, have only one partner share for the first 30 seconds while the second partner listens. After the next 30 seconds, the other partner shares while his/her partner listens.

Timed Carousel
Each team posts their project in an area of the room. All teams rotate one project clockwise so they are all standing in front of another team's project. The Interval Timer is set for 3–5 minutes. The team discusses and/or provides written feedback of the project. When the interval is over, again they rotate one project clockwise. This process is repeated until all teams are rotated back to their own projects.

Computer Turns
Here's a great solution for the “one-computer classroom”. Set the Interval Timer for 15 minutes. Allow 15 minutes for each student, pair, or team to work on the computer and a roster. When their time is up, they notify the next person or group on the list, letting them know it is their turn.

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Stoplight Timer & Turn Timer

Timed Pair Share
Give partners 30 seconds each to share. On the Stoplight Timer, click 2 turns and the 30-second time Preset button. When the indicator sounds and the second stop light turns green, it's the second students' turn to share .When the alarm sounds, all pairs are done sharing.

RoundRobin or RoundTable
In a team of four, give each student equal timed turns to share or perform a task. Click 4 turns and select the amount of time to give each student. All teams will end at the same time.

Team Interview
In a team of four, every teammate is interviewed by teammates for the same amount of time. Click 4 turns and select the amount of time to give each student. When it is a student's turn to be interviewed, he or she stands to be interviewed by teammates.

Team Presentations
Give every team the exact amount of time with the Turn Timer. If you have 8 teams and want to give each team 3 minutes to present their team project, select 8 turns and 3 minutes. The team whose number comes up stands up and begins the presentation. When their time is up and the next team's number comes up, the next team quickly stands and begins their presentation.

Eliminate Dead Time
The Stoplight Timer, Turn Timer, and Interval Timer are equally great to eliminate wasted time in transitions. As soon as the time ends for one task, project, or team, the clock begins for the next. This keeps everyone on his or her toes and ready to go so they do not miss any of their time.

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Digital & Analog Stopwatch

Time a Practice Presentation
Be prepared. Use the stopwatch to see how long your presentation takes. Add more transparencies or slides if your presentation is too short. Plan on covering less if the presentation is too long.

Create Time Landmarks
When creating a timed presentation, use the Stopwatch to time how long each section takes. Jot down a brief outline of where you should be at different intervals of your actual presentation. For example:

8:00 Section 1
8:30 Section 2
8:50 Section 3…

When you're in the middle of your presentation, you'll be able to quickly gauge actual times and make adjustments if necessary.

Time Students
Time how long it takes students to:

• Complete a problem
• Perform a task
• Answer a question
• Complete an assignment
• Create a class formation without talking
• Line up
• Quiet down


Science Experiments
Record the time it takes for different events under different conditions. Here's a simplified scientific method for students to use:
1. Formulate a Hypothesis - Which will take longer? Why?
2. Conduct the Experiment – Time the various conditions.
3. Analyze the Data – Was there a time difference? Which took longer? What does it mean?

Free Time for Quick Attention
Save classroom time by getting students' attention quickly. When you put up a quiet signal, start the Stopwatch. Stop the Stopwatch when all students are silent, with their eyes up front and ready to work. Add up their (non-quiet times?) times for the week and subtract it from a 15 minute free-time break. Students quickly quiet down and signal classmates to quiet down to maximize their free time.

Make It A Cooperative Race
If we have a race in the class, we have one winner and multiple losers. Instead, have students root for their classmates with a cooperative race. The class's goal is to accomplish the task in as little time as possible. Time students as they:

• Find a word in the dictionary
• Answer a long division problems
• Sequence events by chronological order

Give the class a reward for meeting time goals or breaking records.

Hall Pass Timer
Monitor how long students are out of the classroom. Start the Stopwatch when they leave the room and stop it when they return.

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Split Stopwatch

Note: If you need more than 5 splits, open multiple copies of TimerTools. Start the timers at the same time and you'll have as many splits as you need.

Team Times
Use each split button to record the time it takes each team to complete a task.

Team Presentations
Assign the class team presentations where every team member must be present for the same amount of time. Click a split button after each team member's presentation to verify that all teammates shared for approximately the same amount of time.

Click the split buttons to record different times for the legs of a relay.

Portions of a Project
Time how long it takes to complete each portion of the project.

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Alarm Clock

Reminder / Memory Jolter
Need to remember to pick up your students from music class in 20 minutes? Click on the Preset buttons and you'll be reminded in 20 minutes. The Preset buttons are the easiest way to quickly set an alarm at any amount of minutes away from the current time.

Meetings and Appointments
Don't forget important appointments and meetings. Set an alarm.

Preparation Time
If you know it will take you 10 minutes to set up for a class, lecture, or presentation, set the alarm for 10 minutes before start time. Your time is valuable! Free yourself up to work on something else until the alarm sounds.

Detention Time
Have a student staying after school for half an hour? Just click the 30 minutes button and you'll know when you can both go home.

Time to Finish
Assign learners a specified amount of time to complete a project. Time's up when the alarm sounds.



Note: If you need more than 4 alarms, open multiple copies of TimerTools.

Block Scheduling
An 80-minute block may seem like a long time. But not when it's broken down into smaller time increments with different interrelated objectives for each time period. Set up multiple alarms corresponding to the various parts of your block. For example:

2:00 Begin Class with Homework Review
2:10 Lecture on New Topic
2:30 Cooperative Activity
2:50 Guided Practice
3:10 Re-teach Concept
3:20 Closure

Budget Your Time
Have a hard time finishing on time? If you have an objective that requires multiple pieces to complete, break the objective down into smaller pieces and set an alarm for each piece.

Subject Start Times
Set up a different alarm for the beginning of each subject: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. When the alarm goes off, everyone will know it's time to switch gears.

Break Alarm
Set an alarm for the coffee break, lunch break, and afternoon stretch and snack break.

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Digital Clock & Analog Clock

Start On Time
Before a presentation, project a clock. This is especially helpful in rooms without a clock or in large rooms where a clock is difficult to see. If the presentation begins at 8:00, everyone will be able to view the same time.

Screen Saver
Turn your computer screen or projector screen into a clock when not using the computer.

Telling Time
Project the clock for your students as you teach them how to tell time.

Time Management & Awareness
Project the clock for your students as you teach time management. Here are a few ideas:

• Log Times. Students record the times for various activities throughout the day. They can analyze the proportion of time spent for each activity.
• Follow a Schedule. Post a schedule for students to follow.
• Make a Schedule. Have students create their own schedule to follow.

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