# Any smart ideas for child struggling with time?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lilybett, Feb 21, 2012.

1. ### Lilybett

Child in Y3. Not in the lowest ability group, but one of the weaker chn. We've been looking at time in Maths; the very weakest (p-scales) really just focusing on the numbers and she's way above that. She is fine on o'clock but when I try to move her on to half-pasts I hit a wall! I took a group of 4 aside to really focus on moving from o'clock --> half pasts; the other chn got it but she was really lost.
What I thought was weird is: she gets that 7 o'clock = minute hand at 12, hour hand at 7, etc. But you try to guide her to move that on to half past 7 and she goes off the scale - I can't see any logic to the random numbers she gets the hands to point to at all, so I'm not really sure where to 'take it from' with her?
Does anybody have any smart tips for helping her move on? I don't feel happy to just say, 'Well she can do o'clocks' and leave it, because she's secure on them so I SHOULD be able to move her onto the next step.
Really grateful if anyone has any ideas!
Love from Lilybett aged 26 and ******* aged 7! xx

2. ### sunpainter

What about using just the hour hand?. I have a clock with just the hour... or draw one. This trains chn to ust the position of the hour hand between the hour digits e.g. Is it half way between the 7 and the 8?
use an online class clock... in real time... I'm sure there is one that you can hide the minute hand... and challenge chn to estimate the time.

4. ### Lilybett

Thank you, Inky. I do talk time to them - 'We are going to assembly in 10 minutes', 'there are 5 minutes left of this lesson' etc. but there's no clock on the wall. I know I could buy it myself *grouch grouch*
This kind of approach worked with some of the others. Like, I'd ask them to show me 6.30 and they'd show me 5.30 and I totally drummed it into them that that CAN'T be right because, look, the hour hand hasn't even GOT to the 6 yet, and when I did this enough, they were okay. I'd be interested to see what ******* does if I can show her a clock with only an hour hand. Maybe by kind of halving the work for her, I'd take away some of the worry.
Thank you again for all these great replies xx

5. ### spl5fm

Get the children to make a clock. Give them a blank face, two hands and a split pin. Get the chn to stick/write on the numbers on their clocks as well as adding on the word version 'half past' wtc when you have taught each one. I've tried it in the past; chn loved making them, using them in starters and plenaries and also taking responsibility for their own clocks - we made 33 clocks in the spring term and 33 clocks were taken home at the end of the school year.

However I have to say the best way to get chn to learn the time is change the class clock to the incorrect time - they are usually the first ones to tell you that 'it's half past Miss, it's time for breakkkk...!' Slightly mean, but works a treat!

6. ### Sunscorch

Maybe if they had a class clock =P

7. ### roseangel

I do think telling the time is a maturity thing. If they're not ready then there's no forcing the issue. It's also true that children with dyscalculia very frequently have difficulty telling the time and many NEVER master it. My neice is in her 20s and can't tell the time. I have tried all the methods given here to no avail.

8. ### sparklygirl619New commenter

With struggling year 3s in the past I've completely sacked off analogue (apart from o'clock) and focussed on digital time. I got a big P.E. hoop and put stickers on at the intervals for the hours on a clock; red sticker for 12, blue for 3, 6 and 9 and white for the rest. We then spent a few minutes every day counting in 5s to 60 round the hoop. Pretty quickly they started to recognise the different positions e.g. I could point to the sticker that would correspond to the '7' and they'd know it was 35. We only went back to a real clock when they were totally solid on this.
It really made a difference and I wished I'd thought of it a few years before!

9. ### alihazelton

Try making the paper clock and actually folding it in half so she can see half. Also colour the past and to sides different colours. (and then can she fold it in half between another number later on?...)
Also another tip that I found really helpful generally is to mark up a piece of insulating pipe in 5s and show the children that time is just a curvy 5x table in a circle.
If you get desperate ask the parents to annotate their clocks at home, help her work out when she does normal things, and when she wants to watch T.V. etc. If all else fails, give up and watch Dave Allen on You Tube trying to Teach the Time. Hilarious!

hope you win with something, all the best, Ali

When I teach time with my Reception class, they nearly all pick up o'clock very quickly so we usually move onto half-past.
I really labour what "half past" means.
Eg show a clock with hands at 5 o'clock. Explain that it takes an hour for the hour hand to get from one number to the next, and an hour for the minute hand to go all the way round. Move the hands to half past 5 and say "The big hand has moved half way round the clock. The little hand has moved to half way between the 5 and the 6. It was 5 o'clock. It's half an hour later, so it's half past 5."
Move the hands to 6 o'clock. say "The hand has moved half way round the clock. It was half past 5. It's half an hour later, so it's 6 o'clock".
I go through the whole spiel several times, and then do the first bit but ask the children what the time now is.
I spend a few short sessions going through this process, before attempting random times ie showing an o'clock or a half past time and asking the class what the time is. Most of the class get it eventually.

11. ### Sunscorch

I can only imagine how much more trouble German schools have with this sort of thing...