Challenges with Time

Nov 15, 2015

Most of year thus far in math class has been spent on number sense.  Tens frames, dot cards, strategies, and anchor charts have been our lives! Now that the foundation has been laid, it is time to move on (for a little bit, at least).

Time is our next stop in mathland.

These are the two standards that we need to meet.  The first one is Social Studies and the second is Math.

* Time can be divided into categories (e.g., months of the year, past, present and future).

* Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.
  Our reading and writing classes are working hard on analyzing stories and artifacts from the past.  (You can check out more about that over at Adventures in Literacy Land, if you would like.)  But we really feel that our students do not have a good understanding of a day, week, month, and year.  This is so abstract for our little learners.  They are all about the here and now.

To kick off this study, we used an old receipt paper roll.

We wanted them to visually SEE the difference between a day, week, and month.  This allowed us to discuss the number of days in a week versus a month.  And then came the year...

It wraps around half the room, which is just amazing to them!  They can't get over how long a year is when compared to a week, month, and day.

To introduce the clock, we explained that 24 hours make up one day.  Then came the cutting!

Allowing them to see that our day is cut into 24 pieces that we call hours, was a great introduction to the clock.

This lesson is not the end of our discussion on categorizing time.  We will continue to explore the different things that we measure in years, months, weeks, or days.

Any suggestions??  This is difficult for some students and if you have any tricks we would love to hear them.


  1. I absolutely love your ideas! They will be such great visuals for my kiddos, especially my English language learners (which is the majority of my kids). Thanks for sharing!
    @Wiley Teaching

    1. Thank you so much!! I think you are right. I hope that it did help my ELL population, as well!

  2. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Thank you for posting this. Time is coming right after Christmas, this will make it so visual and understandable. So glad you are willing to share your ideas!

  3. You've created a great visual tool. Nicely done.


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