How to Run a Timer in PowerPoint to Efficiently Manage your Classroom

As a teacher, it can be a challenge to manage your time in the classroom effectively. To make the most of your time with students and to keep them on track during lessons, a timer can be an invaluable tool. With the ability to run a timer in PowerPoint, you can easily manage your classroom and increase your efficiency.

So how do you add a timer to your PowerPoint presentation? With ClassPoint! No pasting a link, switching between windows, or juggling multiple tools. ClassPoint is a Microsoft PowerPoint add-in that adds a teaching toolbelt to your slide show, so you can conveniently manage your presentation or lesson in one place.

Run timer GIF

So let’s find out how to seamlessly add a timer in PowerPoint, then look at how it can help with classroom management and provide an engaging learning experience for your students.

How to Add a Timer to PowerPoint

To add and run a timer in PowerPoint, you first need to download ClassPoint for free! This PowerPoint add-in will add a teaching toolbar to your presentation, the ability to run interactive audience response questions, and offer a built-in gamified reward system so you can increase your audience engagement during presentations.

So how to run the timer? It’s easy! Let’s jump in:

1. Enable the ClassPoint Toolbar in Slideshow

ClassPoint toolbar

A Timer and Stopwatch tool exists on the ClassPoint Toolbar, on the bottom of your slide in slideshow mode, ready to count time – anytime during presentations. So first, make sure ClassPoint is installed, and the Toolbar is enabled in ClassPoint Settings > Slideshow (it should automatically be enabled).

2. Run a timer in PowerPoint during presentations

How to run a timer in PowerPoint

Click on the Timer icon on the ClassPoint toolbar whenever you want to start a timer or stopwatch during presentation mode. You can input the amount of time you’d like to set the timer for by adjusting the quick (+) or (-) increments or using your keyboard to type.

You can also customize the alarm sound, as well as the size of the timer window. Choose from 6 different sounds, or disable the alarm sound. Then, start your timer!

3. Adjust the timer to better manage class

how to adjust timer in PowerPoint

Minimize the timer to a small, yet visible window, so it doesn’t interfere with your slides. Or, maximize the countdown timer to a full screen to heighten the importance of the time left.

Whether the timer is in the corner or enlarged, your students will be able to check to see how much time is left. As it counts down to seconds it will notify the class with whichever alarm sound you selected. Time’s up!

If you’d like more information on how to run ClassPoint’s timer, check out this tutorial!

Using a Timer in the Classroom

A timer in PowerPoint can be an efficient and effective tool in making your lessons and presentations more time efficient, but there are loads of benefits for students (& teachers too!). Check out this article on why using a timer in your classroom can improve student learning. But for a quick glance:

Benefits of using a timer

  • Classroom Management
    • A timer can be used to give students clear expectations for transitioning between activities. By setting a timer, you can minimize disruptions, avoid ambiguous class time, and keep the class running smoothly. This can help to create a structured environment that is conducive to learning, behavior management, and an efficient use of classroom time.
  • Enhance Student Engagement
    • Timers can also be used to set goals for student exercises, such as during timed writing exercises, short quizzes, or learning games. This can help to create excitement and motivation for students, which in turn can help to increase their engagement and involvement the lesson.
  • Encourage Student Independence
    • By using timers, teachers can encourage students to take responsibility for their own time management. Setting a timer gives students more control over their work by placing the accountability of tracking, prioritizing, and finishing on time it in their hands. This can help students self-manage their work, and can help build confident, independent students.
  • Time management
    • For students, having the responsibility of keeping an eye on the timer encourages them to be intentional and mindful with their time harnessing time management life skills.
    • And for teachers, setting a timer for student activities inevitably helps them manage their classroom time more effectively as well. A timer can prevent teachers from running over time in an activity and ensure that time allocated for in-class activities are manageable & realistic. Students’ level of completion during a timed task can also can provide insight on student understanding on the material, and any areas that may require revisiting.

How teachers can use timers in their lessons

There are many moments, reasons, and ways to use timers, for a more complete list, check out:
The 7 Best Ways to Use a Timer in the Classroom

  • For Student work and group work time
    • Set the timer for a specific amount of time for students to work individually or together on a task.
  • Class discussions or brainstorming sessions
    • Set a timer for how much time you’d like to spend on a brainstorming session. Setting visible time to have a discussion keeps sessions focused, encourage students to share their voice as time is set aside to hear it, and can automatically structure the wrap up of the discussion.
  • Learning games & competitive fun
    • Use the timer when playing learning games at the end of a lesson or unit to add competitive fun or increase the intensity of the low-stakes game. Not only will a timer prevent the game from going over time, but it can also be an interactive motivator and get students excited to participate.
  • Take brain breaks
    • Set a timer for a quick brain break. The timer provides structure to the break, mitigates any loss of classroom management, and puts accountability in the students hands for keeping track of their break.
  • Create focus
    • Setting countdown timers for in-class activities, work time, or even guided practice can help students prioritize their time and focus on the objective or getting it done. Timed sessions help students break down their work into chunks and pushes them to build discipline over time.

When you set a timer during your lesson, don’t forget to tell your students what the objective of the time is, how much time they have, and how they should use it. Setting clear objectives will allow your timer to be most effective for student productivity & time management skill growth.


ClassPoint’s Timer in PowerPoint can be a powerful tool for teacher’s time management and for making their lessons more engaging and interactive. By using the timer effectively and following best practices, teachers can create a more organized and productive learning environment for their students. Learn more about ClassPoint’s teaching tools, and next time you’re in a PowerPoint presentation, don’t forget to make use of the timer feature!

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