Does teaching time to the half hour make you a little nervous? I was always fine with teaching time to the hour, but then getting students to tell time to the half hour, that’s another ballgame! Teaching needs to be very explicit and opportunities to practice should be double that of teaching time to the hour. If you want more information on teaching time, check out this blog post.

## The Half Hour Hands

I’m making the assumption that you know the parts of the clock. If not, refer to the blog post on teaching time to the hour. The key to emphasize to students is the placement of the hands, when it comes to half hours. The short hand (hour hand) is half-way between two numbers. The minute hand (long hand) is half-way around the whole clock. It needs to be on the six.

Often students will point the hour hand onto the number. For example, looking above, if I was to say to students, “show me 2:30,” many would have the hour hand on the 2, before I would remind them that it is half-way between 2 and 3.

## Practicing with the Hour Hand

Giving students the time to practice reading half hour times and positioning the clocks at half hour times needs to be re-iterated. If I asked students, “what time is it?” Looking at the clock above, some would say 2:30, yet others would say 3:30. Why? Two possible reasons, 1) students don’t understand about the hour hand being **past** the 2, and 2) they are not proficient with the direction that clocks move.

## Half Past or Thirty?

Teaching children to say “half past” will help them as in many societies “half past” is used. I usually start with saying thirty. Ask your students why it is thirty? Have your students learned skip counting by 5s at this point? If they have, they may make the connection. If they haven’t, using time to teach skip counting is practical and students will see the relevance of learning it.

## Ways to Tell Time

If you teach math as centres, or rotations, I would recommend that time be given at least 3 weeks, depending on whether your curriculum requires teaching hours, half-hours, quarter hours. Teaching hours can be done in a week, with most becoming proficient at it. Half hours will take a bit longer, sometimes 2-3 weeks, and the majority should be proficient. When I mean proficient, your students should be able to tell time:

- read a clock and saying the time
- read a clock and copy the time on their own clock
- write the time based on a clock’s time
- complete a clock’s time when one hand is missing
- create a clock time and write the time underneath it
- look at real clocks and declare the time

## Need Resources?

You can find both Boom Cards and Google Slides on hours, half hours, and quarters on my Boom Learning Store and Tpt Store.

I am also working on a larger “telling time” unit that I hope to have finished in January 2021. This will have worksheets, literacy connections, math rotation ideas and task cards. This series is not done yet! Next week’s blog will be on telling time to the quarter hour.

Until then, happy teaching!

## Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.