Friday, March 29, 2013

Introducing the Hour Hand

Ever have one of those years when you just what a do over?  Well I’m having one of those years.  In our district we have had so many changes that I just can’t wait for the year to be over so I can plan for next year.  This year we started a new math series.  Next year we will have a new reading series Benchmark Literacy. (Which I will create new trifolds for.  If you have been following me over the years you may know I created trifolds for the Treasure series with Ms. Winston- now Mrs. Saunders. ) I will still offer the trifolds for free on TPT.

Telling time is difficult.  For starters there are two, sometimes 3 hands and students have to remember which hand is which.  Then, although there are only 12 numbers written on the clock face, they have different values.  Sometimes the 1 really is a 1 but sometimes it means 5 min.  Then the 3- sometimes it’s  3, sometimes it’s 15 min, and it can be a quarter hour.  And we haven’t started on ‘to’ and ‘past’.  No wonder students struggle with telling time.  I have a few students who are still having problems with telling time.  Then yesterday I attended math training for our grade level after school.  Someone mentioned that they had tried one of her ideas this past quarter for telling time that worked out wonderfully.  Something I never thought to do. Telling time only teaching the hour hand.  Hmmm

So I was thinking of trying this with my some of my math groups next week.  Teaching only the hour hand.  My thinking is something like this:

Teach only the hour hand because it counts the hours around the clock.  It takes one hour to move from one number to the next number which means that we can tell the time (more or less) with just this one hand.  Teach just hours.

Next, move on to the half hours.  We stop the hour hand exactly half way between two numbers.  Talk about the fact that because it takes one whole hour to move from 1 to 2, when it is exactly half-way between the  1 and 2 it is half past the hour or 1:30. 

Then I move on the quarter hour and etc.  I don’t know if this makes sense or not.  I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.  Most of my students have mastered time.  I just a have a few things to wrap up on this unit and a few students who still don’t get it yet.  So maybe this strategy may help.  Has anyone tried this before?  I would be curious to hear your comments about it.



Suzy Q said...

I always do something like this, too. I call it 'the minute hand fell off the clock'. I cover the minute hand on our large teaching clock with my hand (and I tell the students that isn't where it really is!), move the hour hand somewhere and ask the students to write what time it is. They do really well!

(If the clock had a different fastener, I would take it off entirely.)

Sandy Fiorini said...

Glad to hear that this works. I feel much better about trying this now with my kiddos.

I like the expression "the minute hand fell off the clock". I will have to borrow that when I try it next week. I hope you don't mind.

Thank- you for sharing your experience with us.

Patty Rutenbar said...

Here's the trick to help my kids identify the name and function of the hands.

Hour has 4 letters.

Minute has 6 letters.

Hour = short word, short hand.

Minute = longer word, longer hand

Look at the hour hand FIRST

Write the hour hand FIRST.

Repeating this often will help it sink in.