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Gina Caroddo 4/28/11

Exploring Elapsed Time

The class has done some work on time, including using play clocks to show different
times. We’ve also some beginning work on elapsed time, using questions like “What
time is it if I start at a certain time and add 1 hour? A half hour? Ten minutes…” and
so on. All instruction has been hands-on, using Judy clocks. A next logical step is to
do a lesson on elapsed time that provides students with beginning and end times and
has them calculating the elapsed time.

My framing questions for this lesson are: What is elapsed time? What is the best/most
effective way for a third grader to determine amounts of elapsed time? How does an
instructor explain what elapsed time in language a third grader would understand
(that is also in line with the proper mathematical language for telling time, as
recommended by the NYS standards)?

My goals are to get students to understand elapsed time, as well as being able to
determine amounts of elapsed time using real-life examples (which I always prefer—
real life examples make it more likely that they will retain knowledge, in my opinion).

The standardized Math tests, which are coming up, do test for a student’s ability to
tell time and to determine elapsed time. What has been most helpful in planning our
lessons on time to ensure sound instruction, though, has been a series of
instructional books the math coach lent me.

Subsequent lessons would have them working more discrete amounts of time (5
minutes, 1 minute) to solve elapsed time problems (for example, determining the
elapsed time from 4:10 to 4:23; from 1:23pm to 2:05pm, and so on).

Grade level: 3rd grade

Area of instruction: Math

Aim: What is elapsed time? How do I figure out elapsed time?

Mathematics Performance Standards

3.PS.1 Explore, examine, and make observations about a mathematical situation

3.PS.3 Interpret information correctly, identify the problem, and generate possible solutions
3.PS.5 Formulate problems and solutions from everyday situations
3.PS.6 Translate from a picture/diagram to a numeric expression
3.PS.12 Use physical objects to model problems
3.PS.13 Work in collaboration with others to solve problems
3.CM.5 Share organized mathematical ideas through the manipulation of objects, drawings, pictures,
charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, models, symbols, and expressions in written and verbal form
3.M.8 Relate unit fractions to the face of the clock:
Whole = 60 minutes
½ = 30 minutes
¼ = 15 minutes
3.M.10 : Select and use standard (customary) units to estimate measurements
Note: Grade 2 standards cover telling time to units of 5 and 10 minutes.
Source: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/math/standards/

• Students will be able to determine amounts of elapsed time given start

and end times for an activity.
• Students will be able to write times using proper language (e.g., 2 hours, 5

Materials: Judy clocks, worksheets, Math notebooks, whiteboard or chalkboard,


Setup: The teacher will have a large Judy clock available for his/her use, as well as
enough small Judy clocks for the entire class.

Motivation: Review from the previous lesson with class participation: Teacher will
ask what we did (figured out end times given start times and elapsed times), which
amounts of time we used.
The teacher will ask the students about some of their favorite TV shows. When do
they begin and when do they end? OR, use an example of a movie beginning at 5pm
and ending at 7pm.

Procedure: (20-25 minutes):

• The teacher will pose the question “What is elapsed time?” to the class and come
up with a definition with the class. “Elapsed time is the time that passes from the
start to the end of an activity”.
• Helpers will hand out the Judy clocks, one for each group.
• The teacher will do one example for the class, modeling how to use the clock to
calculate elapsed time.
• Teacher and students will do one or two examples of figuring elapsed time as a
• The teacher will separate the class into groups of 4.
• Students will be given worksheets with elapsed time problems on them and
instructed to work together to figure out the answers to a set of word problems
on ET.
• The teacher will walk around the classroom during independent work, working
with individual groups if possible and answering questions.

Share-out (10 minutes):

• The students will be asked to share their answers. The students will be asked to
explain how they got their answers, showing how they used their clocks.
• The teacher will point out especially good examples of how students calculated
the elapsed time using their clocks and examples of good use of math language.

Closure: Key concepts will be reviewed:

• Elapsed time can be figured out if you know the beginning time and end times by
first counting the number of hours and then the number of minutes.
• What is elapsed time? The class will return to the board and write a class
definition of “elapsed time”.

Modifications for ELLs and students with special needs:

These students would work with partners. Partners who are empathetic and helpful in
class should be chosen to help any students with special needs. Special-needs
students or any students who have difficulty writing numbers or using math language
should be kept in mind while the teacher models any work or activity, but the teacher
will have to be sure to check their work. Partners who are known to be responsible
may be assigned to be sure the “needier” student makes entries, but it is really up to
the teacher to check their work during the lesson.

There are no ELLs in this class but if there were Spanish-speakers I probably would be
able to get the ideas across in their native language. Bilingual charts also might help
students who are ELLs.

The teacher will assess student’s worksheets after the lesson using the attached
rubric for evidence of their ability to calculate elapsed time. The teacher will also do
informal observation during all parts of the lesson including independent work,
looking for accountable talk and making notes afterwards on individual students to
assess their understanding of the above and of what elapsed time is.

Suggested Additional Activities:

Classroom extensions:
The teacher can complete a variation of the same lesson using increasingly more
discrete units of time (5 minutes, ten minutes, one minute).
Also, the following interactive activities could be explored using a SmartBoard or at
home for further exploration of elapsed time:
http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/clock3/ -- hands-on simulation
http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_318_g_1_t_4.html -- hands-on simulation,
both analog and digital
http://www.quia.com/jg/66516.html -- activities including a matching game,
concentration game and flashcards.
http://www.fi.edu/time/Journey/JustInTime/contents.html -- This site offers interactive
Internet activities for students and lesson plans and printable worksheets/games for
http://www.edu4kids.com/index.php?TB=30&page=13 -- elapsed time to quarter-
hours only.



3 2 1 Score

Student is Student is Student is not able

consistently able somewhat able to to calculate
to calculate calculate elapsed elapsed time using
elapsed time time using a clock, a clock, given start
using a clock, given start and and end times.
given start and end times.
end times.
Student is Student is Student is not able
consistently able somewhat able to to record correct
to record correct record correct answers for
answers for answers for elapsed time
elapsed time elapsed time problems.
problems. problems.

Student is Student is Student is not able

consistently able somewhat able to to use correct
to use correct use correct language and
language and language and notation (hours,
notation (hours, notation (hours, minutes, PM, AM)
minutes, PM, AM) minutes, PM, AM) to express time.
to express time. to express time.