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ERIC Number: EJ805060
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Tracking Time Representing Elapsed Time on an Open Timeline
Dixon, Juli K.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v15 n1 p18-24 Aug 2008
Elapsed-time problems are notoriously difficult for children. Instruction on techniques for teaching and learning elapsed time is not emphasized in current mathematics education literature. Nor is it addressed in "Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence" (NCTM 2006). This absence of instruction may be due to a position held by some mathematics educators that telling time and determining elapsed time are life skills rather than skills delegated to mathematics instruction. However, time is addressed in the "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (NCTM 2000) Measurement Standards for both the pre-K-2 and 3-5 grade bands. Regardless of one's perspective on the delegation of time as a discrete content area, determining elapsed time is encountered during mathematics instruction by most children at some point and is often met with frustration. Elapsed-time instruction often focuses on converting units and keeping track of those conversions rather than on counting up or back from one time to another. This article examines how students are able to make sense of elapsed-time problems when instruction is connected to open number-line strategies. Adapting this technique--typically used for recording addition and subtraction counting strategies--provides a method for supporting students' thinking about elapsed-time problems. (Contains 11 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A