Math links: clocks


My kids have eagerly been looking forward to learning to tell time.  I told them they had to first learn to count by 5’s, and they’ve mostly mastered that, now we’re moving on to the telling time.

And of course, if you’re going to learn how, you need a clock!

Supplies: 2 different colors of fun foam, two circles of different sizes to trace, a brad, a marker

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1.  From your two different colors of fun foam trace the two circles.  And let your kids have at the cutting out of the circles.  While they’re doing that trace two arrows for the clock.  Don’t forget to make one shorter than the other.

Oh, and am I the only one who has wondered why the hour which is longer is much shorter than the minute hand?  I did kind of figure it out when we were working on our clocks, I have a theory.  But, it’s something I’ve always wondered.

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2.  Glue the smaller circle on top of the bigger circle, and then punch a hole in it with your nice pointy scissors or a knife.  Do the same for the arrows because your hole punch was broken by some overly excited hole punching by your child…….

Then on the small circle write your hours, this is to have yet another reminder that the hour hand is shorter.  Seriously I struggled with this for years.  And on the larger circle write the minutes by 5’s.  My kids thought this was super cool (I will add I wrote all of the numbers to not aggravate them and make this fun).
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As you can tell, the clocks are wildly popular, and we’ve used them everyday since we made them.

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11 thoughts on “Math links: clocks

  1. How great that they are having so much fun with this. C is doing well with telling time, but I haven't really introduced the concept to R. She can count by 5s so maybe I should.

  2. I love the excitement in Princess's face in that last photo!

    I've wondered if the shorter hour hand had something to do with mechanical clocks? Or just because you usually have a vague idea of that hour, so it's more important to see the minute hand first? I'd be curious to hear if you ever figure it out!

  3. This last picture is super adorable. I think it's a great math craft, and we might eventually make it here. As to the question about the length of the hand – my own theory is that we have to read minutes more precisely, and it's a lot easier to “eyeball” hours. So the minute hand has to touch the numbers while the hour hand doesn't need to.

  4. Princess looks so proud of her clock – such a great picture which captures her excitement.

    Savvy makes me giggle at the moment when she comes out with all sorts of crazy times – like 40 o'clock!

  5. They look like poster children for those clocks. I love the two tones and the fact that the hour is separated from the minutes with different color. Once I had a group of first graders make clocks using paper plates and that went rather well but I like your clocks better!

    I agree with Natalie about the length of the minute hand.

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