Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's About Time: Analog and Digital Clocks

Do we teach children to tell time using analog clocks? This is a question many teachers are posing. As preschool and kindergarten teachers, telling time may not be required, but it is helpful to get our youngest learners thinking about clocks and their role in our lives.

So much of our time these days is displayed digitally. We, at Maggie's Big Home, like to have our youngest children compare time pieces. Show an actual analog clock along with a digital clock. Have a 'grand conversation' about the likenesses of each clock. Children may begin by talking about numerals. They may notice how the clocks work. For example, show children the electrical cord or batteries. Encourage children to also explain that clocks help us keep track of time passage. In other words, physical attributes, along with the helpfulness of clocks are important discussion points.

Next have children discuss what is different about these clocks. It is always interesting to hear them talk about the hands on an analog clock. Talk about the sweep of these hands. For children who are ready, we like to show them the word hour and the word minute. Help them understand that the word hour is a shorter word and that the hour hand is shorter on an analog clock. Of course, discuss other differences.

When you are finished bring out chart paper. You can make a Venn diagram to help children understand the concept of compare and contrast. This also helps develop concept of word as terms such as hand, numerals, battery, or even phrases like time passage will be put on your chart.
 

While actually telling time may not be part of your curriculum, it is helpful to start children thinking about clocks. And this is a wonderful way to engage families, too. Encourage children to find examples of clocks in their homes. Describing these clocks is a valuable expressive language activity, followed by illustrating favorite clocks. 



FOR ELLs:
  • Pair children so they can discuss clocks and explain their experiences with clocks. You may want to pair children who speak the same language so they can share details. 
  • Describing clocks from home gives children a tangible way to share and celebrate a part of their culture with others. 
  • Use the clocks as concrete objects to help our ELLs learn English words and phrases.
Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.F.13.
Head Start - VI.B.

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