Question Video: Telling Time as “before” and “after” an Hour Mathematics • 2nd Grade

Look at the clock. Find the missing numbers to tell the time in different ways. It is 55 minutes after _. It is 5 minutes before _. Pick the clock that shows the same time.

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Video Transcript

Look at the clock. Find the missing numbers to tell the time in different ways. It is 55 minutes after what. It is five minutes before what. Pick the clock that shows the same time.

To begin with, we’re given a digital clock and told to look at it. What time does it say? 9:55. Now, how do we read a digital time like 9:55? What do the numbers mean? The digit or digits that come before the two dots show the number of hours that have gone by. In this case, it’s 9 something. And the two digits that come after the dots show the number of minutes that have gone by. In this case, it’s 9:55. Now, we can describe the time 9:55 in different ways. And we need to find the missing numbers to help us do this.

The first sentence says, “It is 55 minutes after what.” How do we know from our digital clock that it’s 55 minutes past something? It’s those digits that come after the two dots, aren’t they? They show us the number of minutes that have gone by, 55. So to fill in our first gap, we need to think how many hours have gone by. It is 55 minutes after 9. At 9:55, it’s 55 minutes after 9 o’clock.

Now, this next sentence is interesting. It is five minutes before what. Now, you probably know which hour of the day we’re going to fill in here. If it’s 55 minutes after 9 o’clock, then the next time will be 10 o’clock, won’t it? So it’s five minutes before 10. But how do we know it’s another five minutes before 10 o’clock? We know that there are 60 minutes in a whole hour. So if 55 of those minutes have gone by, there are only another five minutes left before the next hour. And this is why if the time is 55 minutes after 9, it’s also five minutes before 10.

Finally, we’re given four analog clocks to choose from. And we need to pick the clock that shows the same time. And there are two ways we could find this answer, but one’s a lot quicker than the other. Would you rather imagine where the hands would be at 9 o’clock and count up to 55 or imagine where the hand should be at 10 o’clock and count backwards five. Counting backwards five is much quicker, isn’t it?

We know that at an o’clock time, like 10 o’clock, the minute hand will point directly upwards to the number 12. We also know that the gap between one number and the next number on the clock face is worth five minutes. So if the time is only five minutes before 10 o’clock, we would expect the minute hand to be pointing to the number 11. It is five minutes away from an o’clock time. So to begin with, let’s look at our four clocks. Do any of them show a minute hand pointing to the number 11?

On the first clock, it’s pointing to the number 10. So we can forget this clock. On the second and third clocks, it’s pointing to the number 11. So these could be the right answer. And then on the last clock, it’s pointing to the number 10 again. Don’t get confused by that short hand that looks like it’s pointing to the number 11. The minute hand is the longer hand, and here it’s pointing to the 10. So we can forget this clock too.

To work out which of our two possible answers is correct, we need to now think about the hour hand. If it’s 9:55, where would you expect the hour hand to be? Remember, at 9 o’clock, the hour hand points to the number nine. And at 10 o’clock, it will point to the number 10. But we haven’t got to 10 o’clock yet. We’re very close though, aren’t we? We’re only five minutes away. So we would expect the hour hand to be almost pointing to the number 10. Can you see which one of our clocks is correct? It’s this one, isn’t it?

The time on our digital time said 9:55. And we knew this meant 55 minutes after nine. We could also write the time as five minutes before 10. And the analog clock that shows the same time as this is the one where the minute hand is pointing to the number 11. And the hour hand is almost pointing towards the number 10.

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