Short Blocks

Maths Year 2 Autumn Measures (B)

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Unit 1 Understand hours, minutes, seconds (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show a large stop-clock or a clock with a second hand. This hand takes one minute to move round the clock. How many seconds are in a minute? Wait until the second hand is at the top and count as it moves. Repeat with the clock turned away. Discuss. Children try counting 15 and then 30 seconds in their heads. Then they estimate how many letters they can write in 30 seconds. They write the letters and compare the results to their estimates.
Group Activities
-- Gain an understanding of what can be achieved in 15 and 30 seconds.

Day 2 Teaching
Ask children to perform a physical action, each child in turn, like standing up and sitting down again. How long does it take, to the nearest minute?
Repeat - can it be done inside 1 minute? Remind children how many seconds are in a minute. Help them to get a sense of the length of a minute.
Time for 1 minute to find out how many times the children can do ‘head, shoulders, knees, toes’.

Group Activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Order, Order!’ from NRICH as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Gain an understanding of what can be achieved in 1 minute.

You Will Need

  • Large stop-clock or clock with second hand
  • ‘Timing events’ (see resources)
  • Cubes or blocks for building
  • Stopwatches
  • 1-minute sand timers
  • ‘How many minutes?’ (see resources)

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Quarters (pre-requisite skills)

Day 2
Time to the half hour (pre-requisite skills)


Day 1
Decide whether it is possible to complete stated activities in 30 seconds.

Day 2
Complete tasks to help develop understanding of the length of 1 minute.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • In 1 minute, I can sometimes/always/never:
    Tie both shoelaces
    Count to 100
    Roll ten 6s on a 0–9 dice
    Toss a coin and get five heads
  • Estimate how many minutes until playtime.
  • Give your most accurate estimates to complete these sentences:
    In 30 seconds, I can...
    Drink ☐ cups of water
    Climb up ☐ steps
    Run ☐ times across the playground
  • In 1 minute, I can...
    Walk there and back across the classroom ☐ times
    Do ☐ push-ups
    Write Tyrannosaurus rex ☐ times

In-depth Investigation: Order, Order!
Rank quantities in order from smallest to largest. Order, Order! from

Extra Support

This unit has no separate Extra Support activities.

Unit 2 Tell the time; introduce 5-min intervals (suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Launch ITP Tell the Time. Display analogue and digital clocks. Point out the digital time, and that the first 0 is not needed when we write it. Choose an interval of half an hour and click to show analogue and digital times.
Group Activities
-- Read and match analogue, digital and written times.
-- Read and match analogue and digital times.

Day 2 Teaching
Display images from ‘Order, order’ resource sheet. Agree times and what children might be doing at those times. Is 12 o’clock midnight or midday? Ask children to place clocks in chronological – time – order. Change some times to ‘after midday’ and repeat.
Group Activities
-- Say the time on analogue and digital clock faces. Order these times.

Day 3 Teaching
Give children circles of paper folded into quarters to represent the quarters of the clock face. Explore the quarters as ‘o’clock’, ‘quarter past’, ‘half past’ and ‘quarter to’. Remember that on the ‘Hamilton’ analogue clock, if the long hand is in pink it is a ‘past’ time: Pink Past (alliteration) and If the hand is in the blue, it is a ‘to’ time: Blue To (rhyme).
Group Activities
Use the ‘Pink or Blue?’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Write times to the quarter hour from given clock images.
-- Say, make and write times to the quarter hour.

Day 4 Teaching
Ensure children are confident with past and to (Pink is past, blue is to). Remind children of times on analogue and digital clocks. Display times in digital and analogue form in contexts, and ask children to identify them. Briefly introduce some 5-minute intervals.
Group activities
-- Match pairs of analogue and digital times.
-- Explore telling time to the nearest 5 minutes.

You Will Need

  • ITP: Tell the Time
  • Large geared analogue clock
  • ‘Reading the time on analogue & digital clocks’ (see resources)
  • ‘Time bingo’ (see resources)
  • Additional activity sheets (see resources)
  • Counters
  • Small geared analogue clocks
  • Circles of paper for each child
  • Cubes
  • Digital clock
  • 1–6 Dice

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Halves and quarters (pre-requisite skills)

Day 2
Read o’clock and half past times (analogue) (pre-requisite skills)

Day 3
Tell time to the quarter hour (pre-requisite skills)

Day 4
Match digital times to analogue (pre-requisite skills)


Day 1 Children write times in words under analogue and digital clocks. Times to nearest 1/2 hour. They also order times and match to daily events.

Day 2 Children order times to the nearest 1/2 hour throughout the day, using both digital and analogue formats.

Day 3 Children write times to the 1/4 hour, in words, alongside analogue clocks

Day 4 Children write 1/4 past and to times in written, digital and analogue formats. Some children also calculate 1/2 hour time differences.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Using digital format, write the times that each of these events happens.
    Tea time
    Bed time
    School start time
  • Use a circle of paper.
    Draw the minute hand in the correct place for each time listed. Use the colour indicated.
    Quarter to (blue)
    Half past (red)
    Quarter past (black)
  • Write the missing digits in these times.
    Quarter past 4 is 04 : ☐
    Half past 6 is 06 : ☐
    Quarter to ☐ is 08 : 45
  • If the time is five past 10, how would it show on a digital clock?
  • If the time is 1:45, draw the position of the hands on an analogue clock.

In-depth Investigation: Pink or Blue?
Children explore the number of quarter past and quarter to times in a day by looking at the two sides of the clock.

Extra Support

Time Triples
Telling the time to the hour on analogue and digital clocks