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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Farkas

5 Ways to Use Timers In Your Math Class


When timers are mentioned to many adults, flashbacks of dreaded timed tests come to mind! Although using timers during assessments is NOT recommended, there are actually many helpful uses for them in the upper elementary classroom. As a teacher, you want to ensure that your students are learning the material thoroughly, but you also want to create a low-stress environment. That's where timers come in. By incorporating timers into your math lessons, you can help your students manage their time, stay focused, and feel confident in their abilities. Here are five ways you can use timers in your math class:




1. Time Management


Give Students a Visual Reminder. One of the best ways to help students manage their time is to give them a visual reminder of how much time they have left for each lesson or activity. You can use a timer on the board or a countdown clock on your computer to show students how much time they have left. This can help them stay focused and manage their time effectively.


2. Reflection Points


Use timers to signal stopping points. Another way to use timers in your math class is to signal stopping points during the lesson. By setting a timer for a specific amount of time, you can signal to students that it's time to pause and reflect on what they've learned so far. This can help reinforce their understanding and retention of the material.


3. Guided Practice


Give students a set amount of time. Guided practice is an important part of any math lesson, but it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is working at a consistent pace. By giving students a set amount of time for guided practice on a specific concept, you can use timers to help monitor their progress and be able to evaluate how students are doing.


4. Brain Breaks


Incorporate short, timed breaks. It's important to give students a chance to recharge and refocus during class, and brain breaks can help. By incorporating short, timed breaks into your lessons, you can give students a chance to move around and stretch, while also helping them stay focused.


5. Self-Assessment: Encourage Students to Time Themselves


Finally, you can use timers to help students assess their own understanding of the material. Encourage students to time themselves as they work on math problems independently. This can help them identify areas where they need additional support, and it can also give them a sense of confidence in their abilities.


Incorporating timers into your math lessons is a simple but effective way to enhance student engagement and understanding. By using timers for time management, reflection points, guided practice, brain breaks, and self-assessment, you can create a low-stress environment where students feel confident in their abilities. If you're looking for specific math timers, check out my YouTube channel for free timers designed specifically for upper elementary math classes.




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