Before I get to the tip, let me give a little background on why she teaches the passage of time the way she does. I have always been a fan of visual timers. Until Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP opened my eyes to flaw of my beloved visual timer. Let me show you why.
Visual timers are always oriented like this:
How do you teach the concept of time and elapsed time when you're not starting and stopping right on the hour? Like when your child starts homework at 6:15? Or when it's 4:45 and your child wants to know when it will be time for dinner?
Sarah showed me that it's easier than it sounds. Simply buy a clock with a glass face and draw on it with a dry erase marker! Like this:
(This Staples clock does not have a glass face. A glass faced clock is recommended
to prevent staining from the dry erase marker)
This clock indicates that there is 15 minutes to complete a task, from 12:15-12:30. The white triangle marks the halfway checkpoint. Having a checkpoint at the halfway point allows the student to develop a concept of how much time it takes to do a task.
Some questions to ask at the halfway checkpoint:
- Am I halfway done?
- Am I still focused on the goal?
- Is anything robbing my time? (e.g. distractions)
- Do I need to move at a faster or slower pace?
For my halfway checkpoint, I just cut a triangle out of paper and taped it on at the halfway point. Magnets would work better because they're easier to move around as needed. Cognitive Connections sells magnetic Tracknets to mark important points during the sweep of time and to help with developing time awareness. They also sell a metal analog clock with a glass face (which is also does not making a ticking noise to help reduce distractions).
Now, let's take a step back. Before you can teach the passage of time, students need to know how to read an analog clock.
This is what I do:
To teach students how to read an analog clock, I've been using a clock I created using a free clock face printable from freeology.com:
Another great way to teach the passage of time to young children is to use this free printable from Wondertime.
What are your tips for teaching elapsed time?