What is time?
Time is more abstract than most topics taught in math in the younger grades. Telling time involves learning with both digital displays and analog clocks. Reading a digital clock may come easy for some students, but telling time on an analog clock can be a challenging skill-set for students to grasp.
An analog clock is a clock with moving hands. Many schools, offices, and public buildings have these clocks displayed on their walls. Analog clocks have existed for hundreds of years. They have a circular face with the numbers 1 through 12 and two hands that move around the circle. These hands, called the hour and minute hand, allow you to tell the time.
Elementary students must be able to identify and write time to the hour and half hour, tell the difference between the hour and minute hand on an analog clock, and match digital times with their corresponding analog representation.
Why is time important to learn?
Telling time is important for students to learn for obvious reasons. Skills involved with telling time are essential for you to live independently in a society immersed with time-related events. Clocks wake you up in the morning, tell you when it’s time to go to school, and let you know when you need to be at soccer practice.
Reading a digital clock may be simple, but being able to tell time on an analog clock is critical to a child’s understanding of the fundamentals involved with telling time. Analog clocks offer a visual representation of time that digital clocks do not provide. Analog clocks are helpful for teaching time management and elapsed time while also increasing students’ fine motor skills as they work to manipulate the hands on a clock. Once your students learn how to tell time, you can easily incorporate this skill into daily classroom routines.