Teaching children to tell time with an analog clock takes practice and patience. Time is best learned when it can be taught in relation to something the child understands…in the context of their small worlds. When my oldest child started nursery school, she was upset to be left so I told her I’d be back at 10:00 when she had snack time. Of course she didn’t understand that, so I told her I’d be back at snack time. That she understood. When her class settled down for snack, there I was. Then I told her I’d be back at lunch time when she would go home.
Here are some ideas how you can help reinforce learning how to tell analog time. It is advisable that you contact your child’s teacher for suggestions so that you are both teaching your child in the same manner. The concept of time is introduced in preschool with seasons, months, birthdays, and days of the week.
Lessons to read an analog clock may begin in 1st grade using a clock
known as a Judy Clock and carried over into 2nd grade. Take your cue from your child’s homework. The purpose of homework is to further reinforce the day’s lessons and in order for new concepts to be placed in your child’s memory, it must be practiced. But, remember not to over do it. Learning should be fun, not dreaded. The students that do the best in school have the support at home.
- Start with teaching the concept of time…breakfast time, school time, lunch time, nap time, play time, dinner time, and bed time.
- When your child can count from 1 – 12, extend the concept of time to hours…match the child’s main activities as above to hours.
- Create a daily chart with pictures for each of the above times and also write in the digital time and draw a clock with the analog time.
- When it is time for each event, look at the clock with your child and find the hour hand and the minute hand. Tell him the time and then ask him to tell you the time.
- Using an analog clock printable worksheet, have your child draw the clock hands and label the clock with the digital time.
- Practice this until he is able to easily read the analog clock with the correct time.
- When your child can count from 1 – 30 and understand half, you can move on to do the same type of activities with times on the half hour.
- First, teach your child the concept of half using an apple, candy bar, etc.
- Cut a picture of an analog clock down the middle and show that half a clock equals half an hour
- Be sure to show your child that the hour hand will be between that hour and the next…that it is half way between.
- From there, teach time on the quarter hour.
- Teach the concept of quarter fractions using items that your child can understand.
- Cut the paper analog clock into quarter sections.
- Break activities into quarter hour segments, changing the activity every quarter hour to help understand the concept
- Teach your child that an hour equals 60 minutes, a half hour 30 minutes, a quarter hour 15 minutes and that each number on the clock represents 5 minutes.
- Practice these concepts and check for understanding.
- Use clocks that have the minutes marked.
- A Judy Clock is usually used for teaching time in schools.
- To make your own clock, use a pie plate or a piece of light cardboard with a fastener in the middle to be used as the pointer.
- A yummy clock can be made with 60 M&Ms and two pieces of licorice – one cut longer than the other – when you’re done with your analog clock games your child can enjoy some of the clock pieces and save the others for another “time.”
- Make a game out of one minute fun things to do…how many pennies can you count in one minute? Can you count 60 pennies in 1 minute? How many times can you write your first name in one minute?, etc.
- Then you can introduce the concept of 60 seconds in 1 minutes.
- When your child is able to count by fives, then it is time to begin teaching him how to tell analog time in five minute segments.
- Use a kitchen timer and set it every five minutes during a game – whoever is ahead after five minutes wins.
- Relate the five minute segments to nickles.
- Every time your child reads an analog clock
with five minute intervals correctly, give him a nickle.
- As an activity with your child, make a clock glueing 12 nickles onto a cardboard circle. On the outside of the circle next to each nickle, write the number of the corresponding hour. Inside the nickle, write the corresponding multiple of 5.
- Every time your child reads an analog clock
- Use five minutes to give “warnings” when you are going to leave for school, when dinner will be on the table, when it is almost bedtime, when it is time to come in from outside, etc.