Some people enjoy me time; I enjoy a little bit of Brie Time!

Learning how to read an analogue clock can seem to be one of the trickiest skills to master, but with my very simple approach in just 8 very easy steps, you will be an expert in no time!

Brie-Anna de Mouse, star of Maths with a Mouse

Step 1

Make a circular clock with a minute hand. Include lines to mark position of numbers which will be added at a later point. Label more clearly the position of the top and bottom of the clock (see template 1)

Step 2 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

Past and to: link this to the hand having gone past o’clock and going to o’clock.

Child to divide one of the clocks into two equal halves and colour each half in a contrasting colour

Move minute hand to any position. Is it past or to?

Show me past - child moves minute hand

Show me a different past.

At this stage, do not include step 3 or expect any further information other than past or to.

If you don't want to use a paper version, this great tool from ictgames.com is perfect as you can remove the hour hand and it also colour-codes past and to. Great work, ictgames.com

Step 3 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

O’clock and half past ONLY

Step 4 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

Counting in 5s from zero up to 30

Symmetrical counting on past and to in 5s - no numbers on clock

Point at random PAIR (e.g. point to 5 to and 5 past simultaneously. Child to say ‘five’)

Do not include past or to at this stage

Image courtesy of @ictlinks

Step 5 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

quarter past and quarter to ONLY

Link to step 2 with to and past

Step 6 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

Counting in 5s from zero up to 30 but replace 0, 15 and 30 with o’clock, quarter and half part

Symmetrical counting on past and to in 5s - no numbers on clock

Point at random PAIR (e.g. point to 5 to and 5 past simultaneously. Child to say ‘five’)

Do not include past or to at this stage apart from with half (past)

Image coutesy of M. Boylan

Step 7 - using minute hand (long hand) ONLY

Link step 6 and step 2

Step 8 - only to attempted if step 7 is secure

Add the hour hand And the numbers onto the clock, highlighting that these relate to the hours.

Complete step 7 to read the minute hand then ask one of the following questions based on whether they told you past or to:

What hour is it going to? What hour has it gone past?

TERRIFIC TOP TIP!

Which hand is the minute hand? Which is the hour hand? It can be confusing!

The minute hand is longer than the hour hand because the word minute is longer than the word hour.

Great resource to practise step 8 - interactive teaching clock

Let's practise those new skills. Hickory, Dickory, Clock is the only time you will hear me encourage catching and striking mice - only in this game from ictgames.com but never in real life!

KIRF TIME 2: recall facts about duration and time

Use rhymes and memory games – The rhyme, Thirty days hath September, can help children remember which months have 30 days. There are poems describing the months of the year in order.

Use calendars – If you have a calendar for the new year, your child could be responsible for recording the birthdays of friends and family members in it.Your child could even make their own calendar. If your child has a phone or tablet, could there be a shared digital calendar with important dates?

Is it a leap year? - As a leap year occurs every 4 years, children need to be aware that these land on multiples of 4. They only need to consider if the Tens and Ones digits are divisible by 4, as the Hundreds and Thousands are always divisible by 4.

Will 2050 be a leap year? 50 is not a multiple of 50 so 2050 will not be a leap year.