TEACHING STUDENTS TO READ ANALOG CLOCKS
With the evolving technology of digital clocks and watches it has become somewhat of a controversy whether analog clocks now obsolete. A brief survey of the published opinions seems to suggest that this skill is still relevant. Here, then, are some considerations for you to ponder when deciding whether to buy your child either an analog watch, or even a dual display model.
An analog clock has at least 2 (hour and minute), and frequently 3 (a “second” or “sweep hand”) that requires some “mental gymnastics” that sharpen young minds. In addition to noting and then interpreting the hand positions on the clock, students learn to count by fives and also learn fractions. The number 3 on the clock is one quarter, the number 6 is one half, and the number 9 is three quarters.
Another advantage to the analog clock is that it allows the students to calculate the amount of time left to whatever their end goal is, e.g., a particular lesson, when will lunch be served, when will school be over for the day.
As analog clocks and watches become vintage and antiques, being able to read them will be a valuable skill for the collector. Much as sundials still function for the curious of mind and add to the understanding of planetary movements around the sun and the resulting shadow, the analog clock will enhance the understanding of time itself.
Indoor and out we can think of many reasons for your child to benefit from learning how to read time from an analog clock and/or watch as they
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