Teaching elapsed time to 3rd graders is a tricky one. They don’t understand what elapsed time is – probably because, as an 8-year-old – time is irrelevant. They don’t have to account for their own time – their parents and teachers do it for them. Their parents tell them when to go to school. Teachers tell them when to leave school. So, when you think about it – elapsed time is entirely unimportant to kids.
Eventually, we ask them to learn and understand how time passes and how to count that time. That’s where the tricky part comes in.
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3rd Grade Time Standard
Teaching students how to tell time begins in 1st grade, when students start to learn how to read the time on a clock. In 2nd grade, they learn how to tell time to the 5 minutes and what a.m. and p.m. are. Third grade is where time intervals begin and where they must learn to tell and write time to the minute.
Throughout this gradual progression, students master telling time at all different stages, so a review is critical.
The 3rd grade standard for time is:
Using or making a Measuring Time anchor chart like the one in the photo below is a helpful and effective way to begin this math instruction. Understanding the basics will make learning the new information more manageable.
You can help your 3rd graders review:
- The hands of the clock
- How the clock is labeled 1 – 12 and that those numbers stand for hours.
- Telling time to the hour and 5 minute increments.
For the 3rd grade standard, students need to learn to tell time to the minute, so you will need clocks that include the minute marks like this one:
This type of clock is perfect for teaching time to the minute in addition to elapsed time. The hour and minute hands move together just like a real clock so students can see how it works.
Teaching Elapsed Time on a Number Line
The second part of the 3rd Grade standard requires students to solve time interval problems using a number line. I love using number lines for this because it’s such a hands-on way of calculating elapsed time. They have previously used a number line to learn repeated addition and subtraction and comparing fractions, so you’re not starting from the beginning with number lines.
After much practice on their part and remediation on your part – you will reach the end of your unit on time. Try a fun and engaging activity for your review session before you give students a big test to assess whether they have learned how to calculate time intervals.
That’s where this fun Elapsed Time Game Show comes in! No more boring review worksheets! Play this game with your class – you will love the comprehensive review, and they will love the competition!
How This Math Game Show Works
If you are not familiar with Jeopardy-style game, here’s a quick overview. There are five categories on the board with five questions in each. The questions have values of 100 – 500 points. Students can choose any category or point value, and the goal is to have the most points by the end of the game. (when all of the questions have been asked)
Category 1: Telling Time
The first category reviews telling time to the minute. It’s a great way to start the game, and we all know they need practice telling time!
Category 2: Elapsed Time to the Hour
This category eases students into the questions by starting with the easier elapsed time to the hour. Students will calculate the time interval to the hour given a start and end time.
Category 3: Elapsed Time to the Minute
Category 3 becomes more difficult by asking for elapsed time to the minute. Students will probably need to use a number line or other math model to calculate the answers in this category.
Category 4: Elapsed Time on a Number Line
Each question in this category gives students number line problems to solve. You will get a good feeling about whether they have mastered this skill!
Category 5: Elapsed Time Word Problems
Finally, students will read and solve word problems containing elapsed time questions. You will see how well they have learned this concept in this category!
Ready to Review Elapsed Time?
If you want a fun, engaging, and no-prep elapsed time game for your classroom – you can find this Elapsed Time Math Game Show in my store. Your students can review elapsed time to the hour and minute, number lines, and word problems.
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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