Kindergarten is a time when children learn the basics of math. They need to learn the basic skills so that they will have a strong foundation as they learn more difficult concepts. Kindergarten math vocabulary is one of those basic skills. Number recognition is also important and this will be practiced throughout the year in many different ways. Knowing and identifying numbers is also important when kindergarteners learn to tell time.
In kindergarten math, telling time usually consists of becoming familiar with a clock and telling time to the nearest hour. As adults, we don’t think about all the little pieces that must fit together in order to tell time. We need to know what a clock looks like. We need to understand what the long hand is for and what the short hand is for. We need to know how the numbers work. Yes, there are sixty minutes on a clock, but instead we see the numbers one through twelve. Those numbers stand for other times as well. For example, 3 is also 15 minutes if the minute hand points to it. The number 6 can mean 6:00, but it can also stand for the half hour. While they may not need to learn these more complicated times yet, these are all concepts kindergarteners need to become familiar with when they learn to tell time.