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My Top 3 Ways to Practice 3rd Grade Elapsed Time

Elapsed Time Worksheets

When do you teach 3rd grade elapsed time? For me, it’s in the spring, and it’s so refreshing to take a break from teaching heavy topics like multiplication, fractions, and division.

The passing of time is often still a mystery for 3rd-grade students, and learning a new skill takes repetition and lots of practice. Showing students how to use a skill in different formats or situations increases their understanding and ability to apply it successfully.  

So today, I’m sharing the top 3 ways to practice 3rd grade elapsed time…

Elapsed Time With Analog Clocks

Although digital clocks have taken over the traditional analog clocks, they provide an excellent visual for students to understand the passing of time. 

One way students can use clocks in elapsed time is to create their own clocks. Yep, I’m talking paper plates and hands spinning on a metal brad (do they even make those anymore?). This activity, although cheesy, gives students an interactive tool they can use to find the elapsed time physically. 

If scissors and glue aren’t your thing, there are great virtual clocks for them to practice on. For example, The interactive clock from Toy Theater allows students to drag the hands on the analog clock to learn about time. Perfect for practice at a center with 3rd grade elapsed time worksheets. 

Elapsed Time on a Number Line

By this time of the year, students are very comfortable with number lines, especially if they used them for equivalent fractions. As you introduce this strategy, build their confidence by reminding them how awesome they are at using number lines and that a number line is just another way to express elapsed time. 

These 3rd grade elapsed time worksheets allow students to practice many times without feeling overwhelmed. The number line is already drawn to give them the confidence to keep going when they get discouraged.

3rd Grade Elapsed Time Word Problems

Remember, you’re focused on allowing students to practice elapsed time in different formats, and word problems can be the most intimidating for our kiddos. 

Word problems may seem challenging, but reassure your students that they already have all the tools they need to solve problems. If you model solving a word problem for them using an analog clock or number line, a light bulb will go off in their brains, and they will be able to see the connection of using the skills to solve the word problem. 

So, which strategy will you start with? You’re the expert and know exactly what your students need, and I’m here to help you have reliable resources you can depend on. That’s why I created the Elapsed Time Worksheets for you. 

They are print and go, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. These worksheets are chock-full of accessible practice for your students using the strategies we discussed today. So if you’re ready to feel prepared for your elapsed time unit, buy these worksheets. You’ll thank me later. 

Don’t forget to check out my 5 Easy Equivalent Fractions Hacks! These are seriously good, and I don’t want you to miss this helpful resource. Download it now. 


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I design curriculum and am a self proclaimed tech nerd! I love designing resources to make teachers’ lives easier. In addition, I blog all things education. Let’s get to know each other and connect!