Time is a favorite math unit that I teach, especially with my kindergartners because they are so intrigued by the concept of time!
Time is not actually a common core standard, but it is a component on the report card at my school so we teach it. It is a mini unit taught towards the end of the year, and mastery is not expected. But with the right resources, even kindergarteners can master telling time to the hour – and they love it!
Learning the parts of a clock – Students need to learn the different parts of a clock before they can understand how to tell time. I have the students build their own clocks, but putting the numbers on the face, and having moveable hands. This allows them to understand how a clock works. Brainpop Jr. also has a great video for introducing the concept of time and the parts of a clock.
Keep it hands on – In order for kindergarteners to engage in the activities, but also to grasp the abstract concept of time, they need to be able to manipulate a clock themselves. I have a few moveable clocks that the students can use to change the time. They can use these clocks to play matching games. I also give them a time, and they have to show that time on their clock. There are a number of ways to use these clocks, but it is key it be hands on.
Digital vs. Analog – It is important for students to use both the analog and digital clocks. Students learn to read both digital times, as well as analog clocks. I also teach them to write the digital time after reading an analog clock. The more they practice reading and writing times, the easier it will become for them. Students also learn to draw the hands onto a clock.
Students are the Teachers – Once the students have had practice with the hands on clocks, they can be the teachers to their peers. Having students teach each other keeps them engaged, but also helps them to gain a deeper understanding of the concept. I will call up two students at a time to participate and teach the class. They will show a time on the clock, and teach their peers how to write the digital time to go with it.
Games with Time – There are multiple games that students can play with clocks and time. These help to reinforce the skills they have learned throughout the mini unit.
Partner Clock Match – students are in partners or groups of 3. One partner gives a time and the other partner has to make that time on their clock. If both clocks match, the team gets a point. The game is over when your team gets five points.
Clock Matching Game – I found this on TeachersPayTeachers and it is a great game for centers! The students match analog clock pictures with the digital time. I copied the cards on colored card stock so multiple students can play at one center without the cards getting mixed up.
Whisper down the Lane, Clock Edition – It is just like whisper down the lane, but each person has to whisper the time. After you hear the time, you set your clock to that time and then whisper it. By the end, everyone’s clock should say the same time!