Math Background

Schedules and Elapsed Time: When Students Ask

  • What do a.m. and p.m. mean?
    a.m. tells times between midnight and 12 noon, and p.m. tells times between noon and midnight. Do not tell children that these terms mean “morning” and “night,” because that explanation can be confusing.
  • Why should I learn to tell time to the quarter hour?
    Explain to children that they need to learn about all the different ways of telling time. Knowing time to the quarter hour helps them tell time more precisely than either to the hour or to the half-hour.
  • Why is a quarter hour not 25 minutes?
    Explain that a quarter of an hour means a quarter of 60 minutes, not a quarter of a dollar, or 100 pennies. An hour has 60 minutes, and one fourth of 60 minutes is 15 minutes. If you show children a clock divided into 4 parts, they will see that each part is 15 minutes.
  • How can I remember the number of days in a month?
    Teach children this rhyme:
    30 days has September, April, June, and November.
    February is so great, because it has just 28.
    All the rest have 31; this rhyme for months is so much fun!

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 2