Fractions are tough to learn, but the more hands-on experiences students have with the concept of 1/4, 1/3 and 2/5, the quicker they'll figure them out. Round objects like pies -- actual or simply depicted on paper -- have been used to teach kids fractions for decades. If you want to help your students learn fractions and practice their time-telling skills in the same lesson, use a clock face to help them master basic fractions.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Non-digital clock
- Worksheets with clock faces drawn on them
Pretend the minute hand is broken. Start by helping the students master the concept that the clock face is divided into twelve equal parts. Start with both hands at 12:00. Move the hour hand from 12:00 to 1:00 and ask them what fraction of the clock face the hand moved (1/12). Move the hour hand to 3:00 and ask again (3/12 or 1/4 of the way around). Ask the students to make up fractions by moving the hour hand themselves.
Transition to the minute hand. Repeat the exercise with a base of 60 instead of 12, and pretend the hour hand is broken. Move the minute hand to 4 and ask the students how many minutes have "passed" (20) and what fraction of the hour that is (20/60 or 1/3). Again, have the students make up their own fractions by moving the hand themselves.
Add fractions. Once the students grasp the basic fractions that can be represented on a clock face, introduce the concept of adding the fractions together. Ask "What is half an hour plus a quarter of an hour?" and use the minute hand to demonstrate the answer (45/60 or 3/4). Make up other fraction addition problems using the clock until the students are comfortable with the concept.
Allow time to practice. Factor time into the lesson for the students to practice with worksheets covered with clock faces.
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