Teaching Kids How to Tell Time: Velcro Clock Teaching Materials
Velcro clock materials can be a great addition to special education or general education telling-time math materials. This is one of those sets of teaching materials that I developed over a couple years as my special education students progressed with their time telling skills. You can create the entire set over time as well or simply pick and choose as you need to with your particular students. I don't recommend creating all of these materials at once, as it is extremely time consuming and is unnecessary for nearly all teachers.
The General Education Math Curriculum Teaches Time as Follows:
To the hour
Half hour mark
Five minute mark
Continued minute mark review during elapsed time / problem solving units
For my students who were been below grade level with their time telling skills, I still followed this teaching sequence at the timetable that was appropriate for them. For my students who stayed at grade level, I typically introduced the concept before they were introduced to it in the general education setting so that they had extra practice. The general education time units move quickly and it can be difficult for the students to keep up without this extra initial work.
One of the greatest difficulties that I've had with special education teaching materials is providing/creating varied materials for the same topics when students need lots of practice with them. Many of my students on the autism spectrum enjoy Velcro materials so I frequently created Velcro materials as one material option.
The following examples are Velcro clock materials that I created for the entire time telling teaching sequence. I have now used these materials with students all the way from kindergarten through fourth grade. I printed a lot of the clocks for these materials from this site.
For the majority of the time materials that I created, I made both analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog matching. I used the back and front of each cut manila folder with 6 clocks on each side so all 12 times are covered.
I created these materials for elementary school students, but they are appropriate for any students, children or adults, who need to work on their time telling skills.
Telling Time To the Hour
I have never worked with students who had a lot of difficulty with to the hour times. For students who are in kindergarten, you can simply review it periodically. For older students, you can move on as soon as they've mastered it.
Telling Time to the Half-hour Mark:
Making the jump to the half-hour mark can be tricky at first as students learn how to determine what the hour is now that the hour hand is not right on the number.
To the Quarter Hour/to the Five-minute Mark
Transitioning from the half hour to the minute mark in 2nd grade is the hardest step in telling time. I typically have my students spend time with the quarter hours (15 minutes, 45 minutes) before moving to the additional five-minute marks.
When students have mastered the quarter hours, I move onto the additional five-minute marks. I broke all of these five-minute marks down for a few of my students. It is not necessary to do that with all students. If you don't think that your students need this, you can move right to five minutes mixed.
I also made a Velcro clock with spaces for the five minute times around the outer edge, which you can see above. I made a worksheet version of this as well where students could write the numbers in the circles.
To the Five Minute Mark Mixed
Once students have mastered the five minute marks on the clock, they're ready to mix them up and work on the entire set. I've never created too many of these five-minute mixed sets because most of my students haven't needed much further work on the concept at this point.
To the Minute Mark Mixed
Once students have mastered the five-minute mark, the transition to the minute mark is surprisingly easy. Most of my students had mastered "counting on" by the time they had mastered the five-minute mark and had no problem combining these skills to master the minute mark. These final clock materials provide an easy fun review for proficient time-tellers to practice their skills throughout the school year.
Additional clock materials
- Bingo and Concentration: I am always surprised at how popular these two games are. I have made bingo and concentration games for vocabulary, too, which have always been a big hit. I have had students get frustrated when the games are hard, but I've never had them get bored. I have pictures of five-minute mixed bingo and half an hour concentration (matching the digital and analog times) here, but you can make either game for many times.
- Stories: One of my former students had a slight obsession with bowling. I created a lot of Velcro bowling teaching materials for him. That's why all of these time (to the minute mark, but you can make them for any times) stories are about bowling. Thankfully I haven't had any students with an aversion to bowling so I've been able to use these stories with other students, too. These stories don't involve elapsed time or any other problem-solving strategies. They're simply another tool to use with students who are learning to tell time to the minute. I created stores for matching analog to digital and vice versa.
One of My Favorite Learning to Tell Time Tools
Questions & Answers
© 2011 Rose Clearfield