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Ordering Time

Alignments to Content Standards: 2.MD.C.7



  • Sets of 3-6 "analog clock cards," enough for each student

  • Sets of 3-6 "digital clock cards," enough for each student

  • Paper and pencil


Students will work individually or in pairs so they can compare their orderings. Students should start with the analog clocks. They arrange they clocks in order of increasing time and then the can write the times in increasing order on their paper. Once they have arranged the first set, they can move onto the set of digital times. The teacher should be walking around at this time checking student progress.

If students finish early, they can get another set of cards. The card sets attached to this task get increasingly difficult, so students who find the first sets easy will be challenged by other sets.

IM Commentary

The purpose of this task is for students to practice reading time shown on both digital and analog clocks and to order a given set of times. Standard 2.MD.7 talks about telling time in 5 minute increments. Telling time includes both recognizing and naming the time shown and understanding that time is ordered. This activity helps students understand and practice both of these aspects of telling time.

The teacher needs to create sets of cards ahead of time. There are flash cards for purchase at teaching supply stores, or clocks can be drawn on index cards or printed from the attached pdf. Choose time increments depending on the level and needs of your students. Time increments can increase by the quarter hour or various 5 minute increments. The advantage of using the attached blackline master is that the sets are already made and they increase in difficulty, making it easy to differentiate for students at different proficiency levels.

  • Set 1 is a set of analog times between 5:00 and 6:00. They do not specify a.m. or p.m. and so this may come up as students work.

  • Set 2 contains consecutive quarter hours.

  • Set 3 contains times with minutes that are multiples of 5 between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

  • Set 4 contains hours with 0 minutes that cross from a.m. to p.m.

  • Set 5 contains three times that are repeated in the a.m. and the p.m.

  • Set 6 contains times that all start with an hour of 4 but the order of the minutes do not give a correct order because some are a.m. and some are p.m.

  • Set 7 contains contains consecutive hours but they alternate a.m. and p.m.

If you would like to extend this activity you can have students use the cards to make posters by gluing them down sequentially and labeling them. They could also draw pictures showing what activities they do at these times.


The teacher needs to walk around while students are working on the task and monitor their progress. Check that students are arranging the cards in increasing order.