Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teaching Elapsed Time

It is that time of year again! The dreadful time when I start teaching my students how to solve math problems using elapsed time. In third grade, we are just supposed to introduce the skill to our students, but with my experience in fourth grade I wanted to give my students a little more practice. This concept is always so hard for students to understand. It seems like very year I am trying to find a new way to make this skill easier for my students to understand.
This year I decided to make elapsed time a little more hands on and fun! After introducing the basics of  time, I had my students make their own clocks out of paper plates to help them show and solve different time problems. We spend time going over time to the nearest minutes and understanding time to the nearest half hour and quarter hour. Then I introduced the dreaded elapsed time. We solved a couple of problems together as a class and then I gave them some time to work on problems on their own. As a culminating activity, we played a game of Elapsed Time Bingo. I gave each student a Bingo card and displayed the problems on the Promethean Board so they could all see the problems. I also gave my student the option of using their paper clocks to help them solve the problems.

The students had a great time playing this Bingo game. I was amazed to see how much easier this difficult concept had become for them. It also gave me time to walk around the room to assess, help, and monitor students. I loved displaying the problems on the Promethean Board so I could review the answers with the students. Overall, I would say that this lesson was very effective, and I plan on using this again in the future!


Here's a sample of one of the Elapsed Time Bingo problems displayed on the board.

My students loved this game and wanted to play again! I will definitely  be using the small clue cards to set this activity up as a center in my classroom! 


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