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Now summer term is well underway and memories of home school are fading, most children are settling into classroom routines.
Understanding when things happen during the school day and being able to predict what’s to come is important for children’s perception of control and can help ease anxiety and uncertainty.
Children in lower primary years have a long journey ahead before they build up solid understanding of time. They often ask, “When’s lunchtime?” and straight after lunch, “When’s hometime?”.
Adults are likely to respond with a consoling, “Not long now” or “In an hour”, which won’t help much if the child doesn’t know what an hour looks like or feels like.
Having clocks available, in prominent positions around the school, can give children something more tangible to go on. The youngest children won’t be able to read the time but they can watch the seconds and minutes tick by.
Older children will be able to practise the time skills they’ve practised in maths and build up their concept of time bit by bit.
Classroom clocks are often high up on a wall, somewhere a teacher can see but the children can’t easily.
By positioning a classroom clock at eye-level at the front of the class, children’s gazes fall on it more often. And by looking at a clock regularly, kids will have opportunities to make their own observations about time, which is how real understanding happens.
EasyRead Time Teacher’s (ERTT) classroom clock is ideal for children of all ages. Its clock faces make telling the time simpler than using a traditional analogue clock.
As well as bold digits representing hours, the minute numbers are also clear. Half and quarter hours are marked too.
There are two designs to choose from: a clock face that encourages reading time as past or to the hour and another that helps children read times as they would using a digital clock. For example, by saying ‘It’s 1.20’ rather than ‘It’s 20 past 1’. We call it the 24-hour method.
The clock faces go hand in hand with a clever step-by-step process for telling the time:
For the past/to clock face
So using the three steps, it might sound like: “5 minutes past 2” or “8 minutes to 3”
For the 24 hour method clock face:
Showing the minutes as well as the hours means children have all the information they need to read the time independently. It addresses the problems kids face when they can’t count in 5s or when they forget the complicated procedure for telling time on an ordinary clock.
Teachers can display the ERTT classroom clock at eye-level, along with our handy visual reminder poster of the steps, so children can read the time for themselves, without having to ask.
When maths lessons focus specifically on time, the classroom set from ERTT makes perfect sense. It comprises a classroom clock, twin-sided teaching card and a set of 10 student cards.
The teaching clock is easy to handle, with moveable hands that stay where you want them. You can use the teaching clock to display a time and ask the children to make it on their own clock or show you what half an hour later would look like.
The matching student clocks are smaller and, like the teacher’s clock, have space to write times in words or in digital format. Children can easily manipulate the hands, which are designed to be sturdy and difficult to bend or break.
And importantly for the strange times we’re living in, the teacher and student clocks are wipeable and can be sanitised after each use.
For consistency, it’s helpful to use a set of clocks for teaching time that matches the classroom clock pupils use every day. That way, children can continue to build their skills even when the maths focus shifts to something else.
Help empower the children in your class by ordering a classroom set from ERTT.
All items are also sold individually.
For more resources, go to easyreadtimeteacher.com/browse/classroom-resources.
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