Time seems to be a tricky concept for most young children. Now with digital watches and clocks, reading time is a simple matter – but understanding how it all works is still quite complicated. So the best way to get this across is with an old fashioned clock – with an hour and minute hand. We have been learning to count in fives and this has helped the girls work their way around the minutes to 60. All year I have drawn their attention to the clock on the wall to show them how much time they have to complete a task. “When the big hand reaches this number you need to be done.” “Five minutes from number to number – how many minutes it that?” Now at last we are learning to actually tell the time. They know how many minutes make an hour, how long it takes the big hand to move from 12 to 12 and how long it takes the small hand to go from number to number. All of them now know how to read o’clock and some have already grasped the half and quarter hour!
To help the girls become familiar with the workings of time they got down to making their very own clocks. Not only did this task show them the way to measure time, it honed their fine motor skills for cutting and getting a split pin to do its job! They all thoroughly enjoyed decorating their clocks to be the smartest in the class!
These clocks are now being used for time activities at school and are going home with the children daily. Parents, help your child to practise counting the minutes in fives, setting the hands to different times – mainly o’clock at this stage – and asking questions like, “how long will it take the big hand to get from 2 to 6” etc. Remember – always make it fun – this is just an introduction to a difficult concept.
The term is racing by and while I am delighted at the progress the girls have made it is not yet time to rest on our laurels. Now that the girls are confident in the basic Grade 1 skills, we are building on them in preparation for Grade 2. We are working at a faster pace and missing even a day of school means a lot of catching up when she returns. The girls are keen too, and are working hard to get to the next level in their Reading – so parents – don’t neglect the homework. Encourage the girls to be thorough in their word revision, let them read the group reader daily and help them with their supplementary ‘box’ book. Keep counting to the higher numbers and don’t neglect counting in twos, fives and tens. Let’s be sure that they go to Grade 2 thoroughly prepared!