Learn To Tell Time

Written by Sierra Rein
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The ability to know how to tell time is one of the most important basic social skills a child can learn. By doing so, he has the power to understand the basic concepts behind such mundane (but essential) things like being on time, waking up at a good hour, cooking pasta for a specific number of minutes, and how long it takes to drive to the movie theater. Knowing how to tell time can also help a child to become more aware of the hours and minutes of the day and behave more respectfully when important schedules and deadlines are involved.

Most children learn to tell time between pre-school and third grade. Although children usually absorb the concept of the passage of time by listening to the conversations of their parents, they usually need to be taught how to look at the face of a clock and know how the movements of the hands correspond to the time of day. The first lessons cover the shape and function of all the parts of the clock, while the final lessons conquer the ability to tell the difference between two times and how to use subtraction to deduce how many minutes will pass until a certain time arrives. Of course, this last challenge requires the knowledge that there are 60 seconds to a minute and 60 minutes to an hour (instead of 100 each).

Teaching How to Tell Time to the Very Young or Disabled

Understanding the mechanics of telling time is often a great challenge for children with learning disabilities. The most effective way to teach these children is by incorporating visual interpretations of the clock into the daily lessons and by using teaching tools that the kids can take home and use during their everyday lives. Watches designed with larger numbers and color-coded minute and hour hands are particularly useful for children, especially those who remember things from visual cues rather than auditory or kinesthetic (touch and movement-based) learning modes.

These time-teaching watches can be found in a variety of colors and fun child-themed patterns. Educational companies often package them with activity and instruction booklets to help the child learn how to tell time on a step-by-step basis. These booklets usually provide diagrams and fill-in questions, as well as suggestions for both the kids and their parents (or teachers) on how to apply the most recent lesson they have learned to common events that may take place at home.

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