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Time Timer in a Montessori Environment

Fostering independent learning.

Whether the time seems to pass slowly or quickly, Time Timer products show Montessori students an accurate visual representation of passing time and doesn’t require an understanding of numbers and time. It can be as simple as increasing the ability to focus on a task at hand or easing the anxiety associated with transitioning between activities. By making time a concrete visual, students gain the confidence and focus they need to succeed. It has been clinically proven to increase self-regulation in children and fosters independence and focus in a positive learning environment.

The Time Timer® visual timer is an innovative, simple time management tool designed to “show” the passage of time through the use of a patented red disk. As time elapses, the colored disk disappears.

To see more about how it works, check out this video.

"Time Timer really provided the children with a sense of empowerment and independence, which is what Montessori is all about. This was a way for them not to have to lean into me as the adult in the room... The Time Timer became another part of their environment that they could use to help foster their independence... and really give them a sense of pride when they were able to get their work finished."
Anita Calo, Educator

Here are some tips on how to use the Time Timer in a Montessori environment:

Introduce Time as a Concrete Concept

  • Show what time looks like: “See” the minutes passing!
  • Touch and feel time: Supervise children as they touch the disk.
  • Discuss abstract ideas: Why does 5 minutes sometimes feel so long?
  • Create pictures of time: Replace the numbered face with stickers.

Build Self-Directed Learning Skills

  • Help each child determine how much time he or she needs to complete activities.
  • See focus improve when a child can self-motivate by using the Time Timer at his desk and rug.
  • Ease transitions by setting the timer for the last 30 minutes of a work cycle

Encourage Grace and Courtesy

  • Rotate learning stations
  • Ensure equal time for taking turns
  • Get Clean up done more quickly

    Recommended Classroom Time Management Tools

    Time Timer® PLUS;


    With a portable carrying handle, the PLUS encourages students to carry the Time Timer to their activity or task. The PLUS is easy to set with a protective lens and is available in various durations – perfect for different activities or different ages (Available in 5-Min, 20-Min, 60-Min, 120-Min). Perfectly sized for individual or small group work.
    Time Timer® MOD;


    Sized for individual work, the MOD caters to the senses. Its soft silicone cover creates a softer sensory experience and the cover is available in various colors that can be switched out for different activities, students, or preferences.
    Time Timer® WASH


    Handwashing is an essential independent life skill that can be taught as early as 18 months. The Time Timer WASH is a touchless, visual timer for handwashing that makes learning safe techniques intuitive and easily understood by all ages.

    Intuitive Assistive Technology

    Time Timer believes in creating products that truly help people of all ages and abilities to conquer time – in the classroom, in the home, and in the office. While time can be a challenge for everyone, we aim to provide intuitive and innovative solutions that make a real difference.

    Time Timer is clinically proven to increase self-regulation.

    A study conducted by the Department of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University found that children ages 2-4 years old showed a significant increase in self-regulation skills when the Time Timer® was used to facilitate their activity.

    Read the Research
    Intuitive Assistive Technology

    How the Time Timer Works

    Easy to Set
    Easy to Set: To set a Time Timer, move the colored disk to the desired amount of time.
    No Loud Ticking
    No Loud Ticking: The time automatically begins to count down with no loud ticking.
    Time Visually Disappears
    Time Visually Disappears: As time elapses, the colored disk disappears. The Time Timer operates in a clockwise direction.
    Make Every Moment Count
    Make Every Moment Count: Time is up when the disk is gone!