Monday, April 08, 2013

It's Time to Teach TIME- Elapsed Time that is!

With state testing fast approaching, I know that being able to tell time has been a focus for many teachers. In fact, even as a 6th grade teacher, I wonder just how well my students can do story problems that have elapsed time in them. Nobody wants to admit they can't read a clock, let alone confess that they don't know how to figure out elapsed time. So I have a great strategy that I have taught my 6th graders over the years.

I have them write down what they know:

Then I have them "add up" from the starting time to the end time keeping track of their units as they go, like this:

When they finish, they "add" together their pieces of time to get the final answer, checking for the correct label:

If they have to subtract time to figure it out, we do the same process, just in reverse. This strategy has really helped my students get a grasp on accounting for elapsed time, add makes much more sense than trying to add and subtract in base 60.

So, now my kiddos understand, they need practice. Hence, the creation of my new resource series ORDER UP! I wanted a way for kids to practice in a quick and engaging format!

This game is a fun way to get kids using their brains on and their hands. The game play is simple (the pictures below are for my AREA STORY PROBLEMS set) but addictive. That's the beauty of this resource-  kids want to play more and more!

To begin, you place the "Start" strip on the themed work mat (or table/desk).

You are given a question on the right-hand side of the paper. You read it, answer it, and then find the answer that matches on the left-hand side of one of the other strips of paper.

When you find the answer, you place that one above the start box and read the question on the right-hand side. Find the answer on the left-hand side of a strip, place it above, read, answer...well, you get the idea. You know you are finished when you place the last answer on the mat/table and it says "You Finished!".

My favorite part of this? Students will know if they have a wrong answer because they won't be able to continue up the mat for long with a wrong answer. So, it is self-checking, engaging to the student, and reinforces key concepts. I decided to sell this easy-to-use sets in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook shops. Below are other sets I currently have. Click on the image below, or click HERE to see all the current editions. (There are now over 20 different editions to choose from!)

AND... I am excited to let you know that I am accepting special requests for topics. All you need to do is click HERE or on the link at the top of my blog. (And don't tell anyone, but if you submit a request that I make into an Order Up! set, you get it FOR FREE! Yup, you get it free! How awesome-sauce is that?)

So, what are you waiting for, there is no TIME to waste...Get clickin' :)


  1. Ha, would you believe my seven year old is doing this? He's in the second grade.

    He too is having trouble doing this. I like your approach and will try this tactic with him.

    Thanks for the tip, Mr. H!

    1. Hey Diplo-
      Glad I could inspire you!
      If you want to get me an e-mail address, I would be happy to send you a copy of the elapsed time Order Up! set. After all, what are friends for. Let me know. You can email to: mrhughestptrequests (at) gmail (dot) com.

  2. Ooo, these look great, and I'm looking forward to trying them in my classes, will head to TPT to get a set! I'm thinking a geometry set would be helpful too! Thanks! :)


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