"When are we going to eat lunch?"
"When is recess?"
"When is center time?"
And of course, kindergartners don't have an accurate grasp on the concept of increments of time. Days, months, hours, and minutes are all very fuzzy concepts to them. So to help Ks start to understand how to measure time, I borrowed an idea from mathematics guru John Van de Walle. His brilliant idea is to take the minute hand off of a clock so that children can focus on the hand that gives them the most important information, namely, the hour hand.
I had to break the plastic covering to get to the minute hand, but once it was off, it was easy to snip off the minute hand with a pair of scissors. Now that only the hour hand shows, my Ks can begin to conceptualize how long an hour is, and when certain things will happen. If I tell them, "Lunch, will be at 11". They know to watch for when the hour hand is pointing exactly at the 11. And, during that time, can watch the speed at which the hour hand moves from number to number to gain an idea of how long an hour is exactly. We can also use the hour hand to begin to use time vocabulary in a way that makes sense. For example:
"It's almost 9 o'clock"
"It's just past 12"
"It's half past 1"
"It's exactly 10 o'clock"
I've found that using an "hour hand only" clock has given my students a lot of independence.They can now check it on their own to find out if it's time for certain things to happen that are always at the same time. They can find out if it's lunch time or recess time on their own, which give kindergartners a sense of control over the day.