How Can We Get It All Done?

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Students will be able to apply their strategies for calculating elapsed time in order to build a schedule for our bat house construction day.

Big Idea

Students have been learning how to calculate elapsed time. Today, they will begin with a real world problem and apply their skills.


10 minutes

The students have been working with elapsed time for a couple of days now, and I decided to give them a real world task of creating a schedule for our day of building bat houses, as an assessment.

When the students gather at the community center, I show them a partially filled in plan page from my Lesson Plan book. As they discuss what they notice with their partners, I am listening for them to mention that they see indicators of when events begin and end.  

If you choose to do this lesson, or one like it, be mindful that you may need to prompt the students to understand why we create schedules and that they are minute to minute accounts of a block of time. 

After we practice explaining when events in our class begin and end, I explain to them that the bat house building day is a very busy and important day.  We have to make sure we can get everything done in our block of time, so we need to prepare. 

I show the students the task card and explain what each category is and how long they take. We read over the task together and then I send them off with the task of creating a schedule to post during the construction of the bat houses, in order to keep our day flowing smoothly. 

Active Engagement

25 minutes

As the partnerships work, I circulate and listen in.  I am hoping to hear them discussing how to organize the events, how to determine the elapsed time of each task, and how to create their product. I will also be watching to see what strategies they use. 

As these girls get started, I ask them to show me how they are planning on figuring out the start and stop times for the events.  In this clip you will see how they use an open timeline to determine the end time of their first event. 

This student also places the tool safety presentation first in his schedule.  However, he uses the strategy of breaking apart the 50 minutes for his second event and adds "friendlier" numbers to the first event to find the end time. 

There are always questions to ask students, even if they are working correctly and appear to not need help.  This conferring time is an excellent time to dig more deeply.  Ask them why they are choosing the strategy they are using, or how they know they are correct.  Thinking more deeply is the rigor of the common core. 

Closing and Sharing

10 minutes

At the end of the session, I remind students to determine the total amount of time needed for the project and ask them to tape their posters on the white board for everyone to review.  

This video highlights one student's strategy for figuring out the total project time. I have included an example of the schedule posters in this lesson's image and in the resources of this section.