Why a Timer is the Single Most Important Item for Your Classroom

When you’re busy with students, it’s easy to lose track of time. You might find yourself with only three minutes for cleanup or stuck in the middle of work time as the dismissal bell rings. Using a timer in the art room provides a simple solution. Watch the video to find out how a timer can help you and your students have a more productive class period.

And, if you’d like to learn more about the timer featured in this video, head on over to the Time Timer website.

How do you keep track of time in the art room? 

Are there any other visual timers you like to use?

2 years ago

Cassie Stephens

Cassie Stephens is an elementary art teacher from Nashville, Tennessee with nearly 20 years experience and an AOE guest contributor.


  • Jorena

    I totally agree that a visual timer is super important. I never had enough money in my budget for a time timer and I found regular timers weren’t visual enough even when I put them under my document camera. Finally I found this website and the kids and I love it. http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-clock/full-screen/
    I do not include clean up time in my timer. When the bell sounds, the kids know it is clean up time. Then I play familiar songs that are about a minute long like the Final Jeopardy music or the Price is Right. The kids’ favorite is the theme to the old Mission Impossible TV show, it is 1 min 3 sec. They try to get their table straightened and stacked up in the minute time period before the music runs out. Then my designated table takes over putting everything away while I line up the rest of the students.

  • Melissa Gilbertsen

    Ohhhh YEAH! Last year I tried it out under my doc camera, but it always got in the way and would get moved and lost… so I wasn’t consistent with it…but, this year I stuck it on my main white board with a big ol’ sign that says REMIND ME! For me time is very fluid and the clock was really for ME. I have found it excellent though for all of us! Now we use it to help pace ourselves (me for guided instruction and the students for production/independent work time.) I even have kids asking to set it for me…they know I forget! I do love it and now that it’s centrally located and very visible (the big one is best) it helps with being on task and pacing. I can’t believe I lived without it last year!