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Math Skill – Learning How to Tell Time

September 6, 2015


Beginning to Tell Time

Math – Learning how to Tell Time

My students have always had no difficulty making the transition to telling time when I started with only one hand on the clock. I told them the story that a long time ago there weren’t plane schedules, television programs that came on only at certain times or anything that required knowing to the minute what time it was. They needed to know if it was morning, early afternoon, evening and night time. So they would use the hand to tell them if it was a little before the hour, a little after the hour…and I demonstrate what that means. Instantly my students got  it. Then it’s their turn to show me. They have no problem demonstrating this simple step and applying their new math knowledge.

We would continue do this for a day so I knew everyone got it. Then we would add a hand, making it much longer for the minute hand. We would still have the hour hand, but not the minute hand would help them determine how many minutes before or after an hour was.

I begin with just the hour and have everyone show and take a turn telling everyone an hour to put on their clocks.  We would then talk how the minute hand rotates around and when it is just after or just before the hour.

Now we get to practicing counting by 5’s. It takes a little while for them to remember that the 3 doesn’t mean 3 minutes.

Another trick I learned from my students is that the minute hand is longer than the hour hand, just like the word minute is longer than the word hour. So point it out to them, it might help them too!

Let me know what you think!

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