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Minute Minis

Class Time: 30 minutes
Minute Minis Segments (19 different pieces)

Minute Minis are essentially relabeled fraction circles: the whole is labeled ‘1 hour,’ the halves are each labeled ’30 min,’ the fourths are labeled ’15 minutes,’ and the twelfths are labeled ‘5 min.’

Big Idea

Minute Minis were designed to help students learn the abstract concept of time using concrete representations of fractions. Thus, their primary affordance is that they embed both concepts of time and the part-whole concept of fractions.


Students can use Minute Minis to simultaneously learn time and fraction concepts or to use what they already know about one of these concepts in order t learn the other. For instance, Minute Minis have been used to help children use what they already know about telling time (to the nearest half hour) to learn to tell time more precisely (in increments of 5 and 15 minutes) while also learning the part-whole meaning of fractions.

Sample Learning Goals

  1. Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.
  2. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts

Sample Tasks and Explorations

  1. Rocco has 3 homework assignments. Each will take him 40 minutes to complete. How many hours of homework does Rocco have?
  2. Isabel has 4 homework assignments. It will take her 45 minutes to finish each assignment. How many hours of homework does Isabel have in total?
  3. Arin played 1/2 an hour of Minecraft when they got home from school, 5/6 of an hour after completing their homework, and then another 3/4 hours after dinner. How many minutes did Arin play Minecraft in all?