Customized Number Lines for Handouts

Per request, I created a short video showing how I create customized number lines on WORD. This post also includes a link to a WORD document with 3 customized number lines: time, money with negatives, and miles.

Elapsed time

The image below is from a post on elapsed time. I wanted to create different time scales to match clocks I could create on

The Video

In the video I show how I created the time number line. In the top image below, you can see the table highlighted. I then show how I copy and paste the number line and then edit to create units with money, with negatives.

Here is a screenshot of the video. You can see the number line in an early stage of development. Below the image is a link the video.

Link to video


Below is an image of the three customized number lines. Here is a link to the handout, which is in WORD format to allow you to revise to suit your work with students.

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Elapsed Time with Number Line and Clocks

Telling time is challenging for many students. This is likely a function of the abstract nature of time is. You cannot see or touch it. You experience observe it through a clock. Elapsed time is more abstract and challenging. An entry point to elapsed time may be student experience with walking from one point to another. This post details the a Google Jamboard that leverages this prior knowledge to present elapsed time.

The images below are from a handout to introduce elapsed time. This a revised version of another handout I created. The sequence in chunked to incrementally present additional elements. A number line is used to model, first on Jamboard then on a handout, then clocks are introduced. The first problem has an exact hour on the second clock to make it more simple but to still include minutes.

The clocks were created on, which has a page to allow you to choose times to be represented on clocks. They create clocks with color coded hands, which I follow with highlighters on the handouts and Jamboard.

First, the identify the the upcoming whole hour and marks the hands with highlighters or colored pens or pencils.

Determine the number of minutes to the hour.

Identify the whole hour preceding the second time and marks accordingly.

Determine the number of minutes from the whole hour to the second time.

Use the green marks used to identify the whole hours and determine how many hours passed.

I did not create a spot to write the answer to cut back on visuals.

The first page provides an introduction to the use of the number line without having to process the clocks.

Mark the whole hours.

Determine the number of minutes preceding and following the whole hours.

Determine the number of hours that passed.

A Jamboard is used to model the first 4 problems to engage the students kinesthetically and to unpack the concept. The students can do a Jamboard slide then work on the matching problem on the handout. (See photo at bottom for access.)

On the handout, I addressed the minutes of both clocks before determining hours. The Jamboard person can be used to flesh out the concept of time passing as the person walks. As a result, I suggest determining the hours before the minutes on the second clock as the person walks the entire way. When you return to the handout, you can reference the person walking the last 10 minutes and even show the students the Jamboard again when you do those minutes before determining hours.

Make a copy of the Jamboard in order to use it.

Elapsed Time Part 2 – IEP Objective

I previously posted a scaffolded handout and (subsequently posted) for identifying elapsed time between times on a pair of presented clocks (see image below of a page from the handout.)

A parent asked for a possible IEP objective. Here is one, along with some explanation.

Let’s start with a real life scenario many of our students may face. A municipal bus stops at a location a 7:04am. The individual is supposed to be at work at 7:30am. How much time does he have to walk to work from the drop off location? We can use this real life scenario to inform an IEP objective.

Here is a possible objective:

Given two times in a real life situation, presented with visuals and written or verbal context, Billy will identify the elapsed time. (For example: The bus drops you off at 7:23am and you have walk to work by 7:45am. How much time do you have to walk?). He will do so 9 out of 10 times correctly over 2 consecutive assessments. This would be aligned with the Common Core State Standard 3.MD.A.1.

The student can start with problems presented like what is shown in the handout I shared in the previous post as a step towards mastering the objective.

Elapsed Time – Scaffolded Handout

Several elementary teachers shared that elapsed time was the hardest topic to teach. Here is a scaffolded handout to help compute elapsed time. The elapsed time setting is presented with two clocks, starting and stopping time. Below is an image for one of the more advanced pages of the handout. Here is how the strategy works.

  • The time is divided into minutes and hours.
  • The students identify how may minutes are needed in the first clock to get to the next hour.
  • Then they identify how many minutes are present in the second clock.
  • Finally, students determine the change in the hours.
  • I did not include a spot to place the total elapsed time as the focus is to identify how to break up the problem into parts.

The handout starts with a focus on identifying the minutes leading up to the the next whole hours and the minutes after the last whole hour. The task demand is increased incrementally with whole hours only, then only one or the other clock having minutes then both clocks having minutes.

Elapsed Time Scaffolded

Elapsed time scaffolded

The photo above shows a scaffolded handout to break down elapsed time for a student. The problem is divided into 3 parts: time from 10:50 to 11:00, time from 3:15, time from 11:00 to 3:00 (see photo below). This is based on how we may compute elapsed time by focusing on minutes then on hours. Notice the 3 clocks (in photo above) with no hands which allows the student to engage the clocks by having to determine and show how many minutes passed, e.g. 10:50 to 11:00.

The final answer would be 4 hours and 25 minutes.

Elapsed Time Scaffolded and completed

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