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Mathematics and English Tuition

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Clocks

caterpillar

Telling the Time

Age 6.7 +

"3 o'clock"           "half past 3"

half past clock

"7 o'clock"             "half past 7"

"If we start at 3 o'clock, notice how the big hand sweeps half way around the clock to make half past 3."

Age 7.2 +

"1 o'clock",   "quarter past 1",  "half past 1",  "quarter to 2"

quarter past clock

"If we start at 1 o'clock, notice how the big hand sweeps a quarter of the way around the clock to make quarter past 1." 

"If the big hand sweeps round another quarter, then the time is half past 1." 

"If the big hand sweeps another quarter, then the time is a quarter to two, because it is a quarter of the clock before 2 o'clock."

Age 7.6 +

"5 past 10",    "10 past 10",    "15 past 10",   "20 past 10"

half past clock 5 past 10 past 20 past

"Each little blip is just 1 minute. So, you can count exactly how many minutes it is past (after) 10 o'clock." 

"Notice how 15 (minutes) past 10 is the same as a 'quarter past 10'."

Age 7.8 +

"25 to 4",          "20 to 4",         "15 to 4",            "10 to 4"

20 to 10 to 5 to quarter to half past clock

"Each little blip is just 1 minute. So, you can count exactly how many minutes it is to (before) 4 o'clock." 

"Notice how 15 minutes to 4 is the same as 'a quarter to 4'."

Age 8.5 +

The pupil should be able to read (and draw) all clock times, understanding all the terms such as 'half past', 'quarter to', '20 past' etc.  

It is now also time to make sure that the pupil can, in fact, readily identify each minute of the clock, and so, for example, can identify a time of 5.47, or 3.09. 

If the previous sections have been mastered, this should not require much practice.

Age 9.5 +

24 Hour Clock

The following graphics represent what pupils aged 9.5 and above should now understand about time.

clock 24 hour 12 hour clocks



 

clocks 24 hour 12 hour

 

Age 10.8 +

Pupils can find it mathematically very useful to think of times that go beyond 23:59. 

EXAMPLE: If the time is now 22:30, what time will it be in 3 hours and 50 min

METHOD 1: "22:30 + 3h 50m = 25:80; and by subtracting 24h as we switch to a new day, this gives a time of 01:80. And a time of 01:80 is equivalent to a time of 02:20."

However, this approach should not be used unless the pupil has already mastered the art of moving forwards and backwards in time.

METHOD 2: If the pupil has not already mastered the art of moving forwards and backwards in time, then this problem should be done by moving forward in time, step by step. Thus, ...

"If the time is now 22:30, then in 3h time it will be ... 23:30, 00:30, 01:30." (counting with fingers if necessary)

"Now we have to add another 50 min ...  -> 01:40, 01:50, 02:00, 02:10, 02:20."

Also see Working in Columns 1.

List of Other Help Topics