One of my classroom management strategies is to display a timer to promote time-on-task with students and keep myself aware of the minutes left until the bell. I also like to display a list of expectations/to-do list/agenda for the day’s lesson. I typically use PowerPoint or Google Docs Presentation to create the list. I recently came across a timer that is free, simple to use, and will display on top of a PowerPoint or Google Docs presentation even in slideshow view.

The Orzeszek Timer is a basic countdown timer. Just enter the time in any format and hit enter.

  • Orzeszek Timer accepts a number of formats for specifying the time to count down:
    • 5 – 5 minutes
    • 2.5 – 2 minutes 30 seconds
    • 1d 5h 3m 25s – 1 day 5 hours 3 minutes 25 seconds
    • 1.05:03:25 – 1 day 5 hours 3 minutes 25 seconds
    • 1 5 3 25 – 1 day 5 hours 3 minutes 25 seconds
    • 01/01/2011 – until midnight on 1 January 2011
    • 01/01/2011 5:00 PM – until 5:00 pm on 1 January 2011

It’s designed to be flexible in the formats that it accepts, so if you’re not sure whether it’ll accept a different format, just try it. To turn the alarm on or off, or to change the alarm sound, just right-click and choose the correct setting. You can also add custom .wav files to the Sounds folder and use those instead. Orzeszek Timer can also accept the time to count down as a command line argument in any of the formats supported by the user interface. For example, “Orzeszek Timer.exe” 15 minutes 25 seconds.

Willard High School Teachers: The timer is available in the Lab folder on the server. Locate the Timer folder and copy it to your desktop or another convenient location. To start the time just open the Timer folder, double click the Orzeszek Timer.exe file, and enter the time. I have copied the Timer folder onto the desktop of the presenter stations in the Downstairs Lab and Lab A.

When using the timer with PowerPoint./Google Docs Presentation:

1. Open the timer folder and start the timer.

2. Enter the time.

3. Open the Powerpoint or Google Apps presentation file.

4. In PowerPoint select Slide Show view. In Google Docs Presentation, click the Start Presentation button.

5. Use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl-Esc to display the Start menu and Task Bar.

6. Click the timer button in the Task Bar. (For those of you familiar with the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut to switch between programs, it works as well.)

7. You can click and drag the title bar of the timer to position it.


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