Telling the time activities – Day 1

In a highly controversial move this week I am……drumroll……. not just cobbling together some insane Pinterest crafts on a theme I’ve pulled out of thin air. This week I am teaching an entirely new concept. Most of what we do at home is a review of skills the boys already semi know. I have not taken on the challenge of teaching new material. But here we are. I once taught 31 kids in a classroom designed for 25, in a building next to a falafel factory. Teaching two kids, with adequate real estate, with no goat tied up outside the window, should be a doddle. Check back at the end of the week to see if I was nothing but a naive fool.

Without further ado: telling the time and clock week. A life long skill, up there with riding a bike. We should probably think about knocking that one off the to do list sometime soon too, but not today. We started as w always do recently. With a little chat about our theme for the week and an easy coloring activity. It’s honestly become one of my most favorite times, sitting with them and listening to them chat as they color in. Today we did a page of watches each, and once we were done I asked them to choose their favorite for me to cut out and tape onto their wrists.

Ted of course gravitated towards the blue. His love for blue anything is going strong, I’m hoping eventually he’ll diversify, perhaps I’ll do a week on rainbows, just to show him the rest of a color wheel. He’s also deeply entrenched in his quest to prove he’s much neater than William. I don’t want them arguing, but the healthy competition is keeping Teddy very involved, although quite slow at coloring in!

For the craft you will need

  • A printer for the template
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Tape

For the first time Arthur actually sat pretty nicely with us whilst he colored his own watch page. I’d say he gave it a solid 8 minutes, which for him is an eternity, before he climbed onto the table in hopes he’d be able to throw the markers everywhere like a tiny Godzilla. Every day he gets a little better at being involved though. So I’m hoping by the end of the summer he’s a little less destructive!

William colored his watches pretty quickly. He was incredibly excited for me to cut one out for him to wear. He’s at the age where he would quite like to wear a watch all the time. If he learns to tell the time I’ll get him one. Teddy decided, as soon as his watch hit his wrist, that instead of it being a normal watch, it was some sort of Power Rangers morphing item. I let them into the yard and they had a happy 30 minutes running around with their new watches playing a Power Rangers game. Ah. The quiet whilst they were occupied.

I went full teacher for our academics today. Instead of something more entertaining, on the advice of my first grade teacher friend Marielle, we used the NY state curriculum. I’m pretty well versed on Engage by as I used it when I taught there. If you’ve not used it before it’s pretty well laid out. I’ve linked the section for telling the time below, and you’re looking for page 135 to start. Too teaching tip: before you start anything on time kids need to have an understanding that two halves make a whole, and 4 quarters do the same. Engage lays out their lessons with this in mind. Making them a perfect starting point for your kids.

As expected William caught on quickly, he loved stranding his halves on his whole, and then his quarters. Teddy got halves after we talked about it a lot, but he didn’t really understand quarters as well. We’ll get there. He didn’t lose focus though. Even though I knew it would be too challenging, I printed out the same worksheets for both of them. He really adores to feel involved, and he wrote the numbers on the clocks incredibly carefully. His pencil grip is still absolutely rubbish, but even with that his letter formation is head and shoulders above William at the same age.

As I worked through the lesson with them I had a completely crazy thought, I was actually really enjoying myself. I honestly have never ever had a single feeling that I would want to homeschool ever. The irony that I’m a teacher who doesn’t want to formally educate her own children is not lost on me. I like teaching other people’s kids. But what with the pandemic, and the unknown for the next school year, it sowed a teeny seed in my brain that maybe if I have to keep them home it won’t be the very worst thing.

I’d say that by the end of the 90 minutes we had made a really tremendous dent in telling the time. Both boys had a completely grasp of the 12 hours, and could be given a clock with a time to the hour on it and say the time. William was able to do half hours too. Tomorrow we are going to make large clocks out of old pizza boxes and split pins and hopefully having the manipulative of moving their own clock hands to move will build on today. See you there!


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