Math Background

Time Intervals and Money Amounts: Tips and Tricks

  • Take advantage of informal settings to reinforce students' understanding of ordinal numbers. When students are in line, have them identify their place. When students are checking their work, ask them what the answer to the third problem is, the tenth problem, and so on.
  • Open a General Store in your classroom. Supply the store with play money and a variety of empty packages and containers brought in by students. Give each student the opportunity to be both customer and storekeeper. This will reinforce students' money-counting and change-making skills.
  • Have students form groups by the ordinal of their birthday: students born on the first of a month in one group, students born on the second of a month in another group, and so on. Have each group research famous people who have a birthday with the same ordinal and report their findings to the class.
  • Have students write money riddles. Here is an example: I am one bill and three coins. My value is $6.25. What am I? (one $5 bill, 2 half dollars, and 1 quarter)
  • Keep an ample supply of blank clock face worksheets on hand (Learning Tool 20). Students can use them to create their own games and activities about time.
  • Have students make a calendar at the beginning of each month and record the activities they have planned such as piano lessons, soccer practice, and special events. Lead a class discussion about the calendars with questions such as “What date is the third grade party?” and “What day is 4 days after your dance class?” This will not only reinforce students' calendar skills, but also help them to be better organized.
  • Have students cut out schedules they find in newspapers and magazines and share them with the class. The schedules can be posted on a bulletin board along with student-created summaries of the schedules.
  • Integrate time and money concepts into your social studies program. Have students write reports about currency and time-telling instruments used in different cultures. Assemble the reports in a class journal.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3