First Grade Math: Telling Time by 5 Minutes

One needs to look no further than the clock face to understand why it's important to first teach students how to tell time by increments of five: the numbers represent five-minute intervals. Still, it's a hard concept for a lot of young mathematicians to grasp, so it's important to start with the basics and build from there.

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Teaching Students Time in Five-Minute Intervals

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First, a teacher should explain that there are 24 hours in a day, which is divided into two 12-hour sections on the clock, each hour of which is broken into sixty minutes. Then, the teacher should demonstrate that the smaller hand represents the hours while the larger hand represents the minutes and that the minutes are calculated by factors of five according to the 12 large numbers on the clock face.

Once students understand that the small hour hand points to 12 hours and the minute hand points to 60 unique minutes around the clock face, they can then begin practicing these skills by attempting to tell the time on a variety of clocks, best presented on worksheets like the ones in Section 2.

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Worksheets for Teaching Students Time

A sample worksheet for calculating time to the nearest 5 minutes. D.Russell

Before you begin, it's important to make sure your students are prepared to answer the questions on these printable worksheets (#1, #2, #3, #4, and #5). Students should be able to tell time to the hour, half-hour, and quarter-hour and be comfortable counting by fives and ones. Additionally, students should understand the function of the minute and hour hands as well as the fact that each number on the clock face is separated by five minutes.

Although all the clocks on these worksheets are analog, it's also important to ensure that students are able to tell time on digital clocks and seamlessly transition between the two. For an added bonus, print a page full of blank clocks and digital time stamps and ask students to draw the hour and minute hands!

It's helpful to make clocks with butterfly clips and hard cardboard to give students ample opportunity to explore the various times that are being taught and learned.

These worksheets/printables can be used with individual students or groups of students as needed. Each worksheet varies from the others to provide ample opportunities for identifying various times. Keep in mind that times that often confuse students are when both hands point close to the same number.

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Additional Exercises and Projects About Time

Use these clocks to help students further identify different times.

In order to ensure that students understand the basic concepts associated with telling time, it's important to walk them through each of the steps to telling time individually, starting with identifying what hour it is depending on where the little hand of the clock face is pointed. The above image illustrates the 12 different hours represented by a clock.

After students master these concepts, teachers can move on to identifying points on the number hand, first by every five minutes illustrated by the large numbers on the clock, then by all 60 increments around the clock face.

Next, students should be asked to identify specific times that are displayed on the clock face before being asked to illustrate digital times on the analog clocks. This method of step-by-step instruction paired with the use of worksheets like those listed above will ensure that students are on the right track to telling time accurately and quickly.

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Your Citation
Russell, Deb. "First Grade Math: Telling Time by 5 Minutes." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Russell, Deb. (2023, April 5). First Grade Math: Telling Time by 5 Minutes. Retrieved from Russell, Deb. "First Grade Math: Telling Time by 5 Minutes." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 27, 2023).