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Friday, November 21, 2014

Teaching Time in First Grade

In our classroom, Math on Fridays is "Fun Math Friday."   Since we spend the rest of the week deep in math mysteries, math wall, and counting collections, Friday is our day to let loose and do something completely different.  Now...mind you, my firsties absolutely LOVE doing all of that other stuff during math.  They just eat up solving math mysteries each day and counting collections gets cheers out of them every single time!  But every now and then, it's nice to have a change of pace.  And Fridays are just that for us!

About half of our Fridays are spent playing fact fluency games from my Fact Fluency Packet.

The other half, we spend working on the "supporting standards," like graphing, measurement, shapes and...TIME!

Last Friday, we started our adventure in time by brainstorming words that we think of when we think of time.  Then, we answered the question, "How long is time?"  One of my cuties answered, "Well, it's pretty much forever!" #SoCute

That discussion led into ordering time lengths....of course, I didn't have a "forever" card, but that naturally led into, "What would be a really short length of time?"  And then, they were able to fill in the "in betweens" super easy!
Now these cards are in my math station where students are able to order lengths of time with a partner.

Then, we timed how long a minute is.  It's amazing how long a minute actually *feels* when you are sitting still and quiet! ;)  Then, I set my timer for an hour so they could get a feel for that too.  No...we didn't sit still for an hour! LOL!  My phone timer just went off after an hour so they would realize how long that actually was!

Then, we played, "In A Minute I Can..."  This is basically like a Minute To Win It against themselves. I set the timer for a minute and see how many times they can....
*write their name
*draw flowers
*build towers


*write sight words
*do jumping jacks

....all in 1 minute!  They just love this game!!

This Friday {today}, we focused on clocks, and telling time to the hour.  We read the classic Eric Carle tale, The Grouchy Ladybug (Watch it HERE if you don't have the book).  Not only is this a time book, but it's also about an arthropod and this week we have been researching arthropods during our animal unit!  I just love it when we can make so many connections between subjects!

My firsties just love this book.  By the end of the story, they were all screaming, "Really? That's not big enough???"  Gotta love the enthusiasm!  If you're unfamiliar with the book, it's written around time.  Each hour, the grouchy ladybug finds another animal to fight {At 5 o'clock, it came across...). After we read each time, I had someone come up and build that time on our clock as we read.  And then we double checked their clock when we finished.  There are over 15 different times in this book so their are lots of opportunity for practice!
Then, I told them we would be making our own clock today.  I asked, "If a clock measures time, it needs to be precise." (We have been focusing on Math Practice #6, Attend to precision...see my math practice packet HERE)  So, we discussed, "What is important about a clock so it can precisely tell time?"  Because, after all, if a clock isn't built correctly, it can't tell time accurately!  Even though building a clock isn't directly in our Common Core standards, I feel it is so important to have kids notice the important characteristics about a clock because they each tie directly to measuring time.

We made this anchor chart together and charted our thoughts!

Then, we made our clock faces together.  We talked about the easiest numbers to place on the clock.  It's hard to get evenly spaced gaps if I start at 1 and go around until I get to 12.

 Then, they labeled their minute hand and hour hand and added the other "ladybug touches" while I went around with the brads!
 I like to reread Grouchy Ladybug and let the kids each change the time on their ladybug clocks as we reread, but we just ran out of time this year!

We had just enough time to do a quick, "Find Your Partner" game matching analog and digital times...and then I added these time cards to the hour to our math station for extra partner practice.

You can find all of these activities, plus more in my Time Packet!

My kids had a blast, but most importantly, they learned so much about clocks and time!  Fun Math Friday, indeed!