HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN TO TELL TIME

How to teach young children to tell time. Teaching ideas and printable resources to help you teach the concept of time and how to tell time in class.

Time is a tricky concept and telling time can be something many children take years to understand and do accurately. 


Teaching time to young children can be difficult as it's such an abstract concept in many ways. Hands on play, games, visual supports and lots and lots of practice can help children understand how to tell time and the concept.



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How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching time to young children. Includes  editable clock face cards perfect for use with our visual timetable cards | you clever monkey

TIME AS A CONCEPT

To effectively teach young children how to tell time you need to first look at the concept of time.

What is time? How does time pass? How do we record this passing of time?


There are so much vocabulary that can be related to the concept of time - seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades, centuries, morning, afternoon, night, sunrise, sunset, today, tomorrow, yesterday, last week, next week. There are many tools we use like clocks, watches, timetables, calendars and diaries to keep track of time.


Timelines are one of the best tools to introduces children to when first talking about time as you can create a visual to help illustrate the passing of time.


In class we started by talking about what we have already done that morning - woke up, had breakfast, got dressed, brushed our teeth and hair, packed our school bags and travelled to school. 


We talked about what we still were to do today using our visual timetable as support. 

I had the children quickly draw five things they did yesterday and then in pairs, their partner had to try and put them back in the correct order.


We then created our own classroom timeline recording the times each event happened. The children each drew a picture to match the time.



How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

Don't they look amazing displayed across our classroom wall! 

My students are familiar with the idea of a timeline as I have a term timeline displayed year round which I add photos and descriptions of our activities every week to. 


It's been a fantastic way to communicate with families and the children have been able to see how far they've come. You can spot it under our school day timeline.



How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

TELLING TIME 

We have also been practicing telling time.

We've built clocks with our number rocks. We've made simple clocks from paper plates. We made paper watches to wear home. We've drawn clocks.



How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

We've been using our blank clock face cards for our Mental Maths routine to practice telling time to the hour and then half hour on our analogue and digital clock faces.


I highly recommend Teaching Time's Whole Class Clock for your IWB and their Stop the Clock game too. My class has loved trying to beat their times while matching the clock faces.



How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

We've also been playing with clocks in our maths centres. We've been using clip cards clock cards, played memory games with digital and analogue clocks and used our 12 sided dice to roll and build a clock to match the time before writing it on our clock face cards.

We've been matching puzzle pieces and using our Make The Time Mats to practice making the correct time.

How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

Once my class became a little more confident, I also introduced these playdough mats and time cards to our math centres. The children choose a time to make using the mat and their playdough then flip the card over to check their clock is correct. 

It's been a great way to build some independence into our centres and for the children to review what they know.

How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching time to young children. Includes  editable clock face cards perfect for use with our visual timetable cards | you clever monkey

We've used these mats with our time cards but the more confident time tellers have been using a 12-sided dice to randomly make the time. It's been a handy center for fast finishers.

How to Teach Children to Tell Time - teaching ideas and printable resources to use when teaching how to tell time to young children | you clever monkey

Why not grab some of our hands-on math resources for your classroom?