Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teaching Kids to Tell Time, Step 3

Explaining Minute Hand Increments

Once kids are confident reading whole hours, they can learn to read all the minutes in between. Show them how to read half hours and increments of 5, 10, and 15 minutes before you teach them to read individual minutes. This will discourage them from trying to count out every single minute on a clock, and will also help them visualize multiples of minutes as fractions of an hour.

Use a pizza, a pie, or a picture of either to explain how objects can be cut into equal parts, or fractions, which are smaller than the whole. Cut it into halves and then into fourths. Then draw a clock and divide it with lines to show how it, like a pizza or a pie, can be divided, first into halves and then into fourths. Explain it can also be divided into sixths and twelfths.

Here are the divisions of an hour that you'll need to teach them:

Half-hours. Teach kids to read half-hours in much the same way that you taught them to read hours (see Step 1). Show them a clock (or several pictures of clocks) with the minute hand on the half-hour, and the hour hand between each pair of hours. Ask them to read each time. Then have them draw in the hands for specific times on several clocks. Explain there are 30 minutes in a half-hour and 60 minutes (twice as many) in a whole hour.

Quater of an hour. Show the kids that when the minute hand points to the three, it's 15-minutes past the hour. When it points to the six, it's 30-minutes past the hour, and when it points to the nine, it's 45 minutes past the hour. Also explain that one-fourth of an hour is 15-minutes long.

Fives and tens. Teach them to count up to 60 in increments of five and ten, or review this material if they've already learned it. Point to and count out first the fives, and then the tens of minutes, on your demonstration clock.

When you teach kids to read the minute hand, you should anticipate one common source of confusion: As the minute hand moves around the clock, the hour hand moves accordingly. So if a clock reads 10:50, and the hour hand is much closer to the 11 than the 10, kids can easily make the mistake of reading 10:50 as 11:50. Point out where each hour begins and ends and explain that it isn't the next hour until the hour hand points directly to the next number, or moves clockwise past it.

Be patient, understanding the minute hand is difficult.

Click here for reference.

Stop by tomorrow for the next step in Teaching Kids to Tell Time.


Anonymous said...

We have been having the HARDEST time teaching my charge time! Thanks couldn't be a better time to share this info with us for me.

Michelle said...

Time with children is clockless time - like that of the artist or that of the sea. Children live outside of time.

Voges said...

Time with children is clockless time - like that of the artist or that of the sea. Children live outside of time.