Ways to Help at Home:
Purchase a clock for your child's room.
Label the hour hand and the minute hand. (I often point out that the word "hour" is shorter than the word "minute". I try to get them to associate the shorter word with the shorter hand, etc.)
Label the points on the clock with "half past" and "quarter til" and "quarter after". You may want to add illustrations. Illustrating these terms as phases of a human life have helped children recognize periods in the "life" of an hour.
Understanding "quarters of an hour":
We always start our exploration of time with paper plates labeled as clocks. We begin by folding the plate in half vertically and horizontally. We identify the four major numbers on the clock (12, 3, 6, 9) and place them in the appropriate positions. We write these numbers larger than the rest in red. The rest of the numbers are filled in using black. You would be surprised how many children need practice drawing a clock, even though this is an object they see daily. Being able to draw an accurate clock from memory is an essential tool to solve elapsed time problems.
After we label all numbers I have students write "quarter past," "half past," and "quarter til" next to the appropriate numbers, keeping in mind that they will soon be cutting the paper clock into quarters. Students cut and color each quarter. We practice identifying a quarter, two quarters, three quarters, etc. by holding pieces in the air when requested. This relates well to fractions and money. Students make connections such as "There are 25 cents in a quarter of a dollar, but 15 minutes in a quarter of time..." "Two quarters in time is a half of an hour, no matter which quarters you hold up..."
Third Grade Expectations: