Yesterday was the big day! The boys can now tell time on an analog clock! Can I hear a big "woohoo" for the Montessori method? It took a half-an-hour or less for me to take them through the presentations/materials I wanted to. That's it. There will not be months of worksheets with little clock faces on them. We didn't even do any matching cards. All it took were some logical hands-on materials and some fun!
We started by using our Orbiter to review the idea that the Earth rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun and that one rotations takes 24 hours.
Next, we translated those 24 hours onto an analog clock. Rather than spend $100 on the clock below...
...I made my own version. I printed a simple clock face image from the internet. I made all of the little number circles in a word processing program (if I find where I saved it I will share it).
I picked up a package of little velcro circles at the hardware store. The bumpy ones are on the clock face and the fuzzy ones are on the circles.
First, we put on all of the red circles (1-12). Me Too loved being in charge of this part.
Next, we put on the blue circles (13-24. As you can see in the photo this part got a little crooked. Again, a five yo was in charge.) This made it really clear that the hour hand needs to traverse the clock twice each day to cover all 24 hours. We discussed the differences between 12-hour and 24 -hour clocks. We also verbally compared what we might be doing at seven in the morning versus seven in the evening, etc.,
I read through the clock presentations in all of my albums before I began so they all influenced the work in their own way. The presentation I chose to have open while I worked with the boys was from Cultivating Dharma.
This is the clock pictured in the Cultivating Dharma album. I have always been intrigued by this clock with the bead bars but have never seen it for sale anywhere. We used our bead bars to do something similar.
Kal-El did it again on his own later and used the five chain instead. The bars work better.
After we reviewed skip-counting by fives Me Too put on the extra set of discs I made.
Our classroom clock was perfect for this work. I originally bought it for Kal-El's seaside-themed nursery. I love it now because shows the 24 hour clock on the inside of the numbers 1-12 and has the minutes numbered outside the numbers 1-12. It also has a second hand which was helpful yesterday.
Eventually they were ready for the small Judy Clock I bought for them. The large size you usually see is intended for a classroom where you are showing 30 kids all at once. The smaller size is more economical, well-sized for little hands like Me Too's, and plenty big for me to show my two kids. The minute hand has a little handle on it. When you move it the hour hand moves automatically in coordination.
We also have an analog clock in our house that has Roman numerals. I gave Kal-El a brief talk about the roman numerals on that clock and he can now read that clock as well. Both boys are now able to show me any time I ask for on the Judy clock and can read the time on the other clocks in the house (with the exception of Me Too and the roman numerals).
They were doing so well that I went ahead and introduced "half-past" "quarter-to" and "quarter-after." I'm sure I am not the first person to think of this, but it made sense to me to use the fraction circles since the boys were so familiar with them.
I have some other clock materials I haven't shown them yet, including the traditional clock stamp. I will show them those things to help maintain interest and continue practice. However, the real practice will be telling time on an analog clock in real life. I'm sure it helped that they could already tell time on a digital clock (I didn't "teach" them this, they picked it up) but I was still amazed at how fun, quick, and painless this was!
We have been doing a lot of activities regarding the passage of time as we have worked our way through Karen Tyler's history album. Another beautiful activity NOT in her album that we can do now that we've learned about the clock can be found at the Moveable Alphabet. It takes two days, but in the end you use marked increments on a burning candle to tell the time.
A couple other fun telling time posts can be found at Making Montessori Ours and Montessori Trails. You might find it interesting that that I encountered the same mystery that Montessori Trails brings up...my primary albums say that this is "elementary work" and some of my elementary albums say that this is "primary work." This was true in both my AMS and AMI albums.
Edited to Add: The boys have been fighting over this clock for the past 48 hours. One of them is ALWAYS holding it. They keep looking at the digital clock in our family room, making the Judy clock show that time and then run to me to show me the time. Me Too holds it in his arms while he is relaxing like it's a teddy bear.