A group of first graders has discovered that using stopwatches makes math fun.
At Hillsdale Elementary, first graders are having fun solving addition problems in minutes. They use stopwatches to sharpen their math skills, and literally try to beat the clock.
“For one thing, it’s fun,” said teacher Stacy McFarland. “It gives them ownership in knowing their addition facts. It teaches them to understand that the quicker they get, the easier it gets. The timers also help them with telling time.” She and fellow first grade teacher Jennifer Morphis bought the stopwatches with money from the Hillsdale Education Foundation, so that all students have access to one. Previously, teachers had only one stopwatch in each room.
“So, the whole class had to look at one on the board,” McFarland said. “We ordered for every student in first grade, so each one can have one in each class.”
“It’s used for multi-purposes,” she said. “But it gives students confidence and responsibility. It helps them show their own growth as they go along.”
McFarland has also found that the students are more tech savvy, as they must reset the stopwatches.