Telling Time to the Half Hour

In our recently listed Math Pack 28 we provide 5 fun and engaging activities for little learners to practice telling time on a digital clock and to become familiar with telling time to the half hour.

We also blogged last week about learning to tell the time.

One of our favorite activities in Math Pack 28 is Half Time Bot. We have found that any activity involving robots is a wonderful way to secure initial engagement with learners.

How to Play Half Time Bot

  • Students can play in a small group. 
  • All cards are placed scattered and face up in the playing area.
  • The students work together to place all the clocks and times on the robots so that the words and numbers match the clock.
  • There is no winner, just lots of discussion, teamwork and time-telling.

Top Teacher Tips for Learning To Tell Time to the Half Hour

  • Ensure your students have a concept of ‘half’ - e.g half a pie. Hand out paper circles, ask them to fold them in half and shade half with a pencil. Encourage students to hold their half above a clock and get an appreciation for a half an hour on the clock face. 
  • Make arrangements so that your students are able to see digital and analog time side-by-side consistently through the school year in your classroom.
  • Ensure that you relate all your teaching and learning in the classroom, about time, to real life experience of the students. 
  • Make it explicit to students that there are 3 ways to express half hour time - 'half past seven', 'seven thirty' and 'thirty minutes past seven'. Make a chart showing these. 
  • Give your students plenty of hands-on experience to learn that when the minute hand shows 'half past' (on the 6) - that the hour hand is halfway between two hour markers. 
  • As well as practical and written learning activities, ensure students have opportunities to talk about time. It is a concept anchored deeply in language. They need to talk about it - a lot!
  • Play lots and lots of games. Don't assume that something that appears as easy as 'half past' will be quickly taught. Check for thorough understanding.

Free Game for Learning to Tell Time to the Half Hour

I made an easy-to-prep game that will combine some important aspects of learning to tell time to the half hour.

What you need to play:

  • paper copies of the game sheet - 1 per player
  • counters or chips
  • pencils
  • toy /learning clock
Find the game template in Google Drive: Free Half Past Clock Bingo Game

How to play Time to the Half Hour Bingo

  1. Ask students to write various half-hour times on their sheet (here they will practice drawing hands on the clock half way between two hour markers)
  2. Ask them to copy their times in digital format (here they are learning to replicate time from analog to digital)
  3. Use the toy clock to show random half hour times, show the students and have them call the time to you (here they are learning to tell time to the half hour on an analog clock)
  4. If a time shown on the toy clock is called and appears on their game mat they may cover it with a counter/chip
  5. The first player to cover all of their times may be declared the winner of the game
Alternatively, students could color the clocks as they are called rather than covering them with a chip.

Math Centers for Learning Digital and Analog Times to the Half Hour

Hop over to our TpT store to find Math Pack 28 which includes 5 printable math centers perfect for sequencing a week of learning for half hour time.