Tips & Resources for Teaching Time Concepts

Understanding functional math skills, like time and money, is essential for students with severe disabilities. I posted some tips and resources to teach money skills a few weeks ago and today I'm here to share some quick tips & resources for teaching time concepts. All of the resources linked in this post are ones that I actually use in my classroom with my students!

Time Concept Teaching Tips
Teaching time in a functional has to be way more than teaching students to read the time on a clock. Being able to tell time is meaningless if students don't understand the basic concepts of time. I like my students to know and understand these time concepts-


I'm going to step up on my soapbox for just a minute and reiterate, teaching time is more than teaching time telling on a clock. Please teach students basic time concepts before, or in addition to, teaching time telling. It's not functional to be able to read a clock and not know what it means!


After I feel like students have a firm understanding on some of the above time concepts, I introduce (or re-introduce) telling time on a clock. I like to teach telling time in small chunks. Here's an example IEP goal.


Telling time from the :30-:55 is the most difficult because the hour hand gets further and further away from the hour so it gets more and more confusing. Ainslee Labs has a great time unit that teaches students to first identify the hour's "room" and then starts slowly adding the minute hand. It's a great way to teach time! I also like to teach one easier interval paired with a more difficult interval, for example, :10 and :40. Ideally, students need to memorize the minutes instead of counting by 5's around the clock every time so by introducing a few intervals at a time, students are able to memorize them and then move on. Here is the sequence that I generally use.


Telling Time Resources
Telling Time Puzzles from Miss Lulu
Telling Time Flip Books from You Aut-a Know 
How to Introduce Telling Time from Ainslee Labs
I Have Who Has Bundle from Learning Lab
Telling Time Card Game from Miss Lulu
Digital Clock Flashcards from Miss Lulu

Time Concept Resources
Time of Day Task Cards by Breezy Special Ed
When? Click It Book by Miss Lulu
Elapsed Time Rulers by Nyla's Crafty Teaching

If you have a favorite time resource that's not already listed, feel free to link it in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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