Telling time on an analog clock can be a difficult concept for primary students. It’s often a tricky skill for them to master and one that is a bit more abstract than other math skills they are learning. These telling time activities and hands-on ideas bring high engagement and a whole lot of fun when teaching first, second, and even third graders to read and write the time.
Connect telling time activities to a popular song
Have you ever had a song that was simply stuck in your head? This one most definitely will be, and even better, it will be stuck in your students’ heads!
Get your students up and moving by showing your class this kid’s version of “What Does the Fox Say?” AND by changing the words to “What does the CLOCK say? Watch the video HERE. I’ve always used the fox song, but I recently discovered this AWESOME video on YouTube by Mr. C called What Does the Clock Say!
Create an anchor chart for a wildly fun and interactive lesson that doubles as a game board. Use the fox clock to model as you introduce time related math vocabulary, telling time on an analog clock, and the purposes of the hour hand and minute hand.
Click HERE to find the chart parts.
Send your engagement factor soaring by having students play What Does the Clock Say? to identify the time in analog, digital, and word form. This makes a great whole group game that everyone can play!
Make the most of your resources by using chart parts as partner games. Prep extra copies of the chart parts for students to play variations of I Have, Who Has? to continue practice in math groups or centers. Students can match clues with word forms to both digital times and analog clocks.
Reduce the chart parts slightly and use them for your interactive notebooks!
Use the digital versions to practice in math centers.
The games included time to the hour/half hour, quarter hour, and nearest 5 minutes.
Board games are always a hit. Pair students up for more practice by playing Time Flies! Just add dice to this free download to practice telling time to either the hour/half hour or to the quarter hour and nearest 5 minutes.
Download your FREE copy by clicking HERE
Make Practice Clocks
We know the importance of using manipulatives during math instruction to enable our students to use concrete objects that can be seen and physically handled to model abstract concepts like telling time. A class set of clocks can be expensive, so make your own!
It can be quite confusing to primary children when one is five, two is ten, three is fifteen and so on. Make practice clocks with your class to help make abstract ideas more concrete. The more hands-on your telling time activities are, the better!
Play I Spy the Time
Have students make watches and draw a time on the clock face. Play a roam the room game where students read the watches of 12 classmates and write their names and the time on their watches.
Get Your Kids Writing About Math
Extend the learning and get your class writing about math. Have students use time vocabulary to describe what the clock “says”. Easily differentiate it by choosing the concept, length, and complexity of the writing task to suit your students. This makes a fun, easy and educational activity for Family Math Night too.
Click HERE to see more of this math craft.
Make Assessment Fun
Provide opportunities for students to write more about math in practice booklets. It’s a fun way to get kids writing as you easily assess their use of math vocabulary, ability to read an analog clock, and even their use of quotation marks.
Include Telling Time Read-Alouds
I’m always on the lookout for books I can incorporate into math lessons. These are a few of my favorite read-alouds about telling time. Available on Amazon, I’ve linked them below.
I love the MathStart series and they are always a favorite when kids fill their book boxes. I was actually lucky enough to find the entire series at a garage sale a few years ago! Score!
There are a lot of great math apps and websites available for students to practice telling time. Whether you use them during your computer lab time or on devices you have in your classroom, kids love them!
Time Travel by ABCya is a great one for the classroom and for recommending to parents for students to practice telling time at home.
Click HERE to check it out ABCya.
I hope you’ve found ideas and activities you can use in your classroom as you make learning to tell time fun!
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Love these ideas? You can also use them for teaching geometry and SHAPES! To see how I do that in my classroom, click HERE. Don’t miss our class movie, “What Does the SHAPE Say?” when you’re there. It was so easy to make with ChatterPix!