Short Blocks

Maths Year 2 Autumn Measures (B)

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

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

Catch-up Learning

This unit has no separate Extra Support activities.