Somewhere around his 4th birthday, Henry became intensely interested in time. Suddenly, it was "what time is it?" how long until 1:00?" "what day is it?" "when does daddy come home?" -- things like that. At first, we started with informal, practical learning -- we looked at the clock before important bench marks in our day and noted how it looked. Then, I started putting names to the times we were seeing on the clock. Finally, for his birthday we got Henry this learning clock -- and its amazing! It has helped him get a pretty good grip on how to tell time and how long time actually lasts.
In addition this this more "practical" learning, we have also done a variety of time themed trays. This first tray explored the concepts of hour and minute using the Montessori gold bead 10 bars. The goal was the match the correct label with the correct number, arrow and bead amount. This was quite popular and a great way to visualize that there are more minutes then hours.
The next tray worked on identifying :30 verses :00. The children could simply match the time to the appropriate clock. As Henry has gotten better at reading the time, I have introduced more complicated times and cards.
Next, we worked on identifying the year. To make this concrete, I added bead that could be placed below each number. I noticed after I took the pictures that a sneaky hand stole one of my beads, but the actual tray had the correct number of beads.
For the days of the week, I used a rainbow and word matching. Henry knows the rainbow order really well, so for us, it makes sense to use these colors to re-enforce order for the days. This work gave him a name for the order and the stick the ability to identify the exact day. This is actually something we have been using for a lot longer, and he was pretty good at identifying the days and their order well before this unit.
Circular calendar for identifying months. The months were color coded to match the seasons and since it was a circle, the pieces only fit if in the right order. There was also a key to make sure the order was correct.
Placing numerals on a clock face.
The final tray included set of circles in different sizes -- the larger the circle, the larger the unit of time. The kids could place the circles in order to see how the units relate to each other.
How have you taught your children about time?
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