Discard Analog Clocks? Not so fast.

Discard Analog Clocks? Not So Fast.
Blog by Deborah Williams: http://www.tutorfi.com/wordpress/index.php/discard-analog-clocks-not-so-fast
Based on Detroit News article by Maureen Feighan

Do you think analog clocks/watches are on their way out? Here’s why they may not be.

Sometimes, the latest is not the greatest. Educators in Detroit have learned that very lesson and have chosen to teach their young ones to tell time the old-fashioned way—with analog clocks rather than digital ones.

Writer for The Detroit News, Maureen Feighan, recently penned an article, “Metro Detroit Educators Teach Telling Time Old Fashion Way,” in which she outlines the reasons that educators in Detroit have decided that students do not learn a real sense of time with digital clocks … Several schools are installing analog clocks “to help students not just learn to tell time but understand the concept of it.”

Some of these schools have only analog clocks, and some have both digital and analog clocks.

They have good reason for this change:  These educators acknowledge that children are able to read the time on a digital clock, but that “doesn’t mean they understand the concept of time or the increments of time — hours, half-hours, minutes and seconds,” explains Jim Burt, principal of Detroit’s Workman Elementary.

Not only that, the educators note that analog clocks help with skip counting by 5s, ideas like clockwise and counter-clockwise, and with fractions when the clock face is used to demonstrate half- and quarter-hours.

Furthermore, these educators are encouraging parents to have analog clocks at home and to reinforce these important concepts in the following ways:

Keep an analog clock at home.

Practice counting forward and backward between 1 and 12 and counting by 5s.  Being comfortable with numbers connects to all other skills in elementary math.

Talk about the language and vocabulary of telling time — half past, quarter past, etc.

For smaller children, count down to coming events, such as going to the park or Grandma’s house; gradually move on to longer time frames.

Use a paper plate to make a permanent display of an analog clock. Mark family times that are significant, such as meals or bedtime.