Elapsed Time Strategies, Activities, & Online Resources

Hi everyone :)  It's Mariela from Math Tech Connections.  Today I'm going to talk about how I teach elapsed time in my classroom.  Elapsed time has always been a difficult skill for students to master.  I hope you will find some helpful ideas that you can use in your classroom! 

Start Early!

If I followed the math book, students wouldn't be introduced to elapsed time until after December.  That would be a huge problem!  Some students come to third grade without knowing how to tell basic time and quit a few need a refresher. There are a few things you can do at the beginning of the year to make sure your students are ready for elapsed time. 

> Morning Work

I make it a priority to give my students a daily morning work sheet that reviews math & grammar. It’s important to choose a morning work that builds on the standards. You don’t want to give them morning work that covers multiplication or elapsed time in the first weeks of school. I have used this morning work bundle for 3 years with great success. It reviews ALL second grade standards and then slowly introduces the 3rd grade standards. 

> Math Centers

I start introducing math stations literally the first week of school. I teach using a math workshop model all year, so it’s important for my students to start learning the routines as soon as possible. When you start introducing centers you want to add math stations that students feel comfortable completing independently. This is a perfect time to add a basic telling time game to a math station. You will be glad to have done this when you get to elapsed time.  

 > Online Math Games 

Sometimes you will find a few extra minutes in the day. This is a perfect time to complete a quick online math game with the class. This website has a lot of basic time games that you can use. You can even make it a competition and see who can get the best time. Students love this friendly competition :) 

Elapsed Time Strategies

It’s important to show students different strategies for solving elapsed time problems and then let them pick which one they feel most comfortable with. 

> Strategy #1: Use a Number Line 

I personally like this strategy the best. I am a very visual person and like how on a number line I can show if I know the start time or the end time. Some students however get very confused with this strategy and do not draw/label correctly.

Below is a picture of a math tri-fold that focuses on time.  When working with a small group, I can quickly see when students are confused and can help them correct their mistakes. Teaching math in small groups is the way to go for sure!

> Strategy #2: Create a T-Chart 

I learned about using a T-Chart when I searched the internet in hopes of finding a different way to teach elapsed time. Some students just don’t like the use a number line strategy. A T-Chart helps students organize their information, and I’ve found most students like this strategy best.

Download The Free Resources

More Online Resources

Related Resources

If you find the free resources helpful, please take a look at some of my bundles on TPT :)

Thank you for reading!