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Learning About the Clock (Minutes)

Time is the reason adults often say you have to hurry. They want you to be in time for class, arrive on time for birthdays before they begin, and they want you to be in bed at the right time. In all cases where you are told to hurry or slow down, we are always talking about time. We list time in its units.

You might know of seconds, which is one unit for time. Now, you are going to take the next step into minutes, which is also a unit for measuring time. There are 60 seconds in one minute, and one hour consists of 60 minutes. The minute is a short unit for time. Break time at school, bus times and YouTube-videos are often measured in minutes.


Working with Time

This is how to convert seconds into minutes:

seconds ÷ 60 = number of minutes

This is how to convert minutes into seconds:

minutes 60 = number of seconds

Think About This

Pull out a watch or a stopwatch. You might have a super cool watch that has one, or you can find one on your phone. Start the stopwatch and see how long a minute is.

You are now given two tasks:

Ask an adult to start the stopwatch. Say “stop” when you think exactly one minute have passed. Check the stopwatch. Were you close to being able to feel how long one minute is?
Guess how much time you need to run around the building you live in. Next, go out and measure how much time you need to do it. Was your guess close to the time you used?

A girl running around a house

Example 1

You look at the stopwatch after running around the house. It says you used 78 seconds. How many minutes is that?

78s = (78 ÷ 60)min = 1.3min (0.3 60)s = 18s

You spent 1 minute and 18 seconds running around the house. Notice that we converted the decimal into seconds, because we rarely enter the number of minutes with decimals.

Example 2

You do a swimming race with a friend. You reach the finish line at the exact same time. The time you spent on the swim was 3.4 minutes. How many seconds is that?

3.4min = (3.4 60)s = 204s

You spent 204 seconds on the swim.

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