Do you use countdown timers in your classroom to make your transitions predictable and to reduce lost time? If not, it’s time to start! offers a plethora of FREE online countdown timers. In addition to classic timers like the Hourglass, you’ll find fun, creative, and thematic timers for your classroom.

Check out the video below for a quick intro to

Classrooms are Predictable with Countdown Timers!

Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher, said, “A well-managed classroom is a task-oriented and predictable environment.” Making your classroom transitions predictable will allow your students the time they need to prepare themselves for the shift in activity and/or environment. Your students will, without question, know what you expect and when you expect it. Not only does predictability reduce anxiety, but it will reduce those precious lost minutes.

Don’t Waste a Single Second!

I lead my students in a quick discussion at the beginning of every year on the importance of Rule #1 – Follow Directions Quickly (I LOVE Whole Brain Teaching)! It’s kind of a little math lesson, too. I start by telling them that, while it may seem insignificant, one minute adds up. Say, for instance, that it takes us an extra minute each time we hand in our papers. If we were to hand them in only once per day, that would be one minute wasted per day. If we have about 180 days in a school year, that comes to (this is where the math lesson comes in) 180 minutes per year. What was one insignificant minute has turned into THREE SIGNIFICANT HOURS! The reality is that we have little moments like this multiple times throughout the day. Lining up for specials, recess, and lunch. Getting out and cleaning up supplies. The list could go on. It’s not unreasonable to say that our “little minutes” throughout the year could add up to a significant amount of time. Given the demands on our time, we can’t afford to waste a single second in our classrooms.

Do you have hints or tips on how you save those precious minutes in your classroom? Please share!


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