Time – representing weeks, months and seasons

Practical Build and make Whole class

Measurement – time

  • describes, compares and orders durations of events, and reads half- and quarter-hour time MA1-13MG
  • describes mathematical situations and methods using everyday and some mathematical language, actions, materials, diagrams and symbols MA1-1WM
  • uses objects, diagrams and technology to explore mathematical problems MA1-2WM


Name and order months and seasons (ACMMG040)

Use a calendar to identify the date and determine the number of days in each month (ACMMG041)

Describe duration using months, weeks, days and hours (ACMMG021)

National Numeracy Learning Progression mapping to the NSW mathematics syllabus

When working towards the outcome MA1-13MG the sub-elements (and levels) of Interpreting fractions (InF1) and Measuring time (MeT2) describe observable behaviours that can aid teachers in making evidence-based decisions about student development and future learning.


Teacher instructions

The purpose of this task is to gauge the level of understanding of time measurement concepts such as:

  • naming and ordering months and seasons
  • describing duration using months, weeks and days
  • determining the number of days in each month
  • using diagrams to explore mathematical problems involving a calendar.,

In Stage 1, students should have an understanding of these concepts, and question 1 allows students to demonstrate this. Question 2 extends this to provide students the opportunity to show their understanding of these concepts in the form of a calendar.

Prompting for question 2 might be necessary to guide students to complete this component. Useful questions to ask may be:

What month is your birthday in?

How many days are in each month?

If students complete question 2 successfully it may be beneficial to ask further questions such as:

  • identify a particular day/date/significant event on a calendar
  • calculate the number of weeks or days until an upcoming event
  • draw a picture to go with the calendar that shows which season it would be.

Student instructions

  1. Create a poster for each season of the year in the boxes below.
    1. Write the name of each season on the line at the top of each box.
    2. Write the months of the year that are a part of each season on the line.
    3. Draw a picture or write some words in each box to show what you know about that season.

    Enabling prompt – You might think about the weather, the clothes people might wear, special events or interesting facts.

  2. Choose a month of the year and complete the calendar.

Possible areas for further exploration

If a student cannot complete question 2 successfully this may indicate their lack of exposure to a calendar.

Depending on the students’ success in question 2, this may indicate the type or style of calendars students are used to seeing e.g. monthly, weekly, paper, electronic, etc. and teachers should take this into consideration when viewing work samples. It may require follow up questioning and discussions to understand students’ responses. For example, teachers may wish to ask ‘Have you seen a calendar before? Where?’, ‘Do you have a calendar at home/in the classroom?’ and ‘Why do you think people use a calendar?’. These questions may offer more insight and understanding into students’ responses or may be appropriate prompts to use to assist students to complete the task with more support. It may also indicate their lack of knowledge in a particular area e.g. the number of days in a month.

Where to next?

Students who complete the tasks successfully demonstrate their understanding of how and why calendars are used, as well as their understanding of the duration of days, weeks, months and seasons. Students will next require extension into reading and interpreting calendars and may be able to explore the representation of time through other forms such as tables and timelines (see Stage 2 Diagnostic Tasks).

Students who are unsuccessful in completing these tasks may require more exposure to and explicit instruction around calendars and more specifically recalling and ordering the days of the week, months of the year, number of days in a months and the seasons (see Early Stage 1 Time outcomes and content).

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Mathematics K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

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