Teacher Toys & Tech: Kagan Timer Tools

One of my favorite professors gifted an oversized hour glass to everyone in our graduating cohort.  I thought it was the great thing until our principal installed Kagan TimerTools on every teacher’s laptop.  TimerTools solves all of my time-management dilemmas like, “I have 50 minutes to get through 6 rotations, what do I do?”  No problem TimerTools will keep students on the move without my interrupting, forgetting, or mathematical shortcomings.  Need a countdown timer that all students can easily see as they move through their warm-up?  Plug in your speakers, turn on your projector, and you’re students will be self-disciplined to finish tasks on time wtihout your nagging.  I’m amazed at how well my students respond and the independence it instills.  I never have to yell “Rotate!” again!

My favorite uses:

1.  Group rotations made easy.

2.  Keep me on track to pace my lesson (I keep it running in the bottom of my screen — out of student view).

3.  Keep track of warm-up or beginning of class procedures.  It provides consistency for students and they their warm-up better be complete by the time it starts buzzing.

4.  Individual seat work – the timer keeps students on track.

5.  Review games, say “quiz, quiz, trade”.  Students know they have 30 seconds to wander the room, as soon as the alarm buzzes, they have the next two 30-second intervals to quiz one another and trade.

6.  Kagan suggests additional uses.

KaganTimerTools can be purchased at kagan.com and for under $30.  Pool together with some colleagues and get a discounted bundle of ten.  TimerTools is also available at the App Store.

Until I had TimerTools I relied on my oversized hourglass.  There are several online timers that may suffice if you would like the “budget-friendly” version.  I’m sure there is a range, but here is the most basic.


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