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Teaching time; please tell me if I can buy the product I've thought of before I take my kitchen clock to pieces

(32 Posts)
lingle Fri 11-Sep-09 08:59:49

I've just realised exactly what I need to give DS2 the concept of Morning, Afternoon and Evening.

I could create it at home as follows:

1. Take kitchen clock and pull off cover.
2. Remove minute hand.
3. divide into three sections
4. Highlight section from 7.30 to 12 in yellow (that's morning)
5. Highlight section from 12 to 6 in red (that's afternoon)
6. Highlight section from 6 to 7.30 in blue (that's evening).

From 7.30pm to 7.30am he ought to be in bed!

Does this product exist or shall I distress my husband by taking the kitchen clock to pieces?

What I love about these visual things (like the calendar) is that once they start working, DS2 understands the concepts just as well, if not perhaps even better, than children who are better at learning concepts with verbal explanations.

misscutandstick Fri 11-Sep-09 09:09:24

If you have a tescos around they have a value range of largish clocks (certainly big enough to do what you are thinking of) for around a pound, maybe cheaper.

lingle Fri 11-Sep-09 09:10:53

lol so I could buy three and discard the first two failures!!!

Pratical things like this were never my strong point.

misscutandstick Fri 11-Sep-09 09:27:21

LOL - sounds like a good idea to me.

I know that 'babygro' make a day/night clock for little ones, to know when its ok to get up. But not one that shows morning/afternoon.

give it a go, let us know how your blue peter skills go!

silverfrog Fri 11-Sep-09 10:04:40

there is a clock you can customise to show getting up times, etc.

hang on, will do a search and see if I can unearth it

NorthernSky Fri 11-Sep-09 10:08:24

Message withdrawn

grumpyoldeeyore Fri 11-Sep-09 10:10:03

I'm sure you can buy craft clock kits - my son made one at school with a paper plate and the clock mechanism goes through the middle and they decorated it. I found: - look at crayola tick tock clock
But I am sure you can buy just the cheap battery clock mechanism probably via a school art supply shop or something because the whole class made one and I can't imagine they paid £7 per child!

NorthernSky Fri 11-Sep-09 10:13:55

Message withdrawn

lingle Fri 11-Sep-09 10:23:40

couldn't resist. The Kitchen clock has been transformed. The second hand is lying next to me as I type. The minute hand survived - just. I can explain that it's the "little arrow" he has to follow.

Morning is now garish yellow highlighter, afternoon is green, and evening is a mysterious dark blue!!!!

As you can imagine, the clock face was shiny paper so the colours are, ahem, a bit uneven shall we say? Would look good if a two year old had done it....

Not sure what Dh is going to think so would appreciate that search Silverfrog!

Will also look at crayola tick tock.

Many thanks (patience is not one of my virtues).

Will let you know how DS2 gets on with it.

silverfrog Fri 11-Sep-09 10:48:09


had a quick search - there was one that Cod used ot recommned instead of the usual toddler Bunny alarm clock, but it is apparently made no more.


do you have a kids pottery painting place near you? they quite often have clocks amongst their stuff, and then you could customise exactly how you wanted it (and get the staff to touch up any dodgy bits)

moondog Fri 11-Sep-09 23:17:34

Really interesting idea Lingle but I reckon it is a bit complicated for a child of only 4 (yes??). Lots of kids don't get this concept at this age.

It will make morning, afternoon and evening look as if they are set in stone (when in fact they are flexible)and you are linking a concept he may not yet understand to another concept he may not understand (ie times of day to times on a clock).

A simpler suggestion would be to colour code your calendar if he is going well with it and relate these concepts to something I am sure he understands, this being meals. Thus morning is before lunch, afternoon is after lunch and evening is maybe after some other clearly defined point in day (coming home from school/Daddy coming home from work?) Different bits of each day could be different colours, so say, morning is always red and afternoon green. Thus if calendar expanded a little, a picture prompt pf something planned such as swimming or dentist is located in relevant colour section.

A lot of 'my' kids also use a picture timetable which has pictures of meals and snacks which act as 'book ends' to break the day up.

Colour coding is an interesting concept. I have used it with days of week (written) so kids remember each day as being one colour.It helps them cross reference stregthening new concepts by utilising ones already known.

The maths system Numicon exploits this to great effect as each number shape is a different colour. I use that too.

moondog Fri 11-Sep-09 23:19:30

Actually Numicon goes further, as each number has a different shape and colour so there is a tryad of comprehension going on.

Stimulus equivalence (Sidman 1990) to us behaviourists.

lingle Sat 12-Sep-09 20:43:05

Ah!<lays down gauntlet>

Will let you know in a month.

Perhaps it's all much more sensible in Wales, but for us Meals are certainly not a more stable reference point - their existence, is, yes, but only breakfast has a stable name. Factor in, if you please, that I was brought up in Bournemouth having dinner then tea but went to posh University and changed to lunch and dinner/afternoon tea - nay supper even; then met an American who finds it infuriating and wrong to use "dinner" for the middle of the day and with him moved to Yorkshire where people don't say "lunch" at all (oh, except the incomers that is, who represent about 50% of the people DS2 knows) and if working class say "tea" to mean a full meal (ie what my husband means by dinner) that you have at 6pm - oh except if they invite him over after nursery when they say "tea" to mean fish fingers at 4.30. I could go on......suffice to say that DH and I have suffered five or six misunderstandings resulting from conversations about things happening "after dinner" (or indeed "after tea" - relationship with the neighbours has never recovered from that one as they meant Yorkshire tea and I thought they meant "teatime" tea) and DS1 and DH regularly argue about the name of a particular meal........

moondog Sat 12-Sep-09 21:48:40

Sounds like a non starter then!

You coudl still 'anchor' a system by using points of reference such as breakfast and teeth cleaning last thing at night.

Let us know how you get on-whatever you use.
I really like your clock idea and think it has great potential. (I have a nice teaching clock whose arms move together which is very useful as child gets the idea much quicker.)

lingle Sun 13-Sep-09 09:19:18


will persevere and definitely let you know.

tingler Fri 18-Sep-09 09:29:52

Moondog, it's me, l, I've name-changed.

It's working. He comes into the kitchen, looks at the clock, points at it and says "It's afternoon!" (or morning or evening or whatever it is). He's very pleased.

It is quite complex - I had to leave the minute hand on and tell him that was "just a silly hand that goes round and round" so he has to disregard that. It would be much better on a one-hand clock.

I'll give it a bit longer, then start on the "When it's afternoon, we'll go to X" stuff. If I say that at the moment, and "X" is somewhere he really wants to go, he tends to go get his shoes and sit by the back door!

He's got a very jagged profile but I suspect he's rising 3 on general receptive language -just starting "wh" questions but nowhere on "why" - still a bit of a "gestalt" learning style - but is age-appropriate (if not superior) on understanding numbers/colours.

By the way moondog, I had that meeting with my headmistress and nursery manager about his visual learning style. I brought in the family tree, the timetimer and the calendar. I think - I hope - that they started to "get it". I think I will ask to see her again in 6 months.

One thing I do know - sitting down and showing them his visual aids was about 100 times more useful than debating whether he "has ASD" or not.

Hey Moondog, I have to see the paed. next week - shall I take the timetimer/calendar to show her too? She's community paed. - "tends to look after the renal cases" her partner says - so I'd be amazed if she'd ever seen them.........

I'm on a mission to spread the moondog word smile

moondog Fri 18-Sep-09 09:40:41

Oh fabulous. So thrilled for you.Such a buzz when something works!! (Was thinking about you and the clock last night so timing is uncanny.)

Yes, so easy to get sidetracked into pointless conversations. So bloody what frankly if it is SLI,SEN,LD,ADHD,ASD???? Who cares? What matters is finding practical easily usable long term solutions to stumbling blocks along the way.

Take it to show her? You could do, of course. It will educate her to some extent. The bigger question I would be asking is more about what the paed. can do for you rather than what you can do for her.

Small videos are very useful too, so snippets showing you using the calendar, or the clock are very powerful for teachers and so on.

I'd recommend you think about something like SAFMEDS very shortly for things like letter nad number recognition and understanding, if that is an issue.

Great news!!!!! Well done.

moondog Fri 18-Sep-09 09:41:35

Sorry, see he's good on numbers.

tingler Fri 18-Sep-09 11:27:51

Thanks Moondog, Yes, good on numbers but must obey Stanley Greenspan's Commandment to keep knowledge linked to emotional intelligence. So he's allowed to think about numbers in the context of a langurous game of bingo in which we give each other medals, that kind of thing.

As to what the paed. can do for me, she was very honest at our last meeting that the answer was not very much. I'm only continuing to see her to avoid getting a "bad patient" black mark and also because when she or SALT point out something DS2 isn't doing, it goads me to work on it for next time.

DH and I are very clear about not seeking Dx. No real issues at home save anxiety re whirring noises. Only point of dx for us would be to get statement. Only point of statement would be to get one-to-one support. And point of one-to-one support would be re-educated by me on how to help visual learners. So as the needs are mild we're lucky enough to be able to cut out the middle bits and go straight to the educating them on visual learners bit, methinks.

Also, there's already a triangle of people involved: school, parents and SALT. My experience of working life, confirmed by noting your thoughts on the matter, is telling me that it's hard enough to communicate between three groups and that we'd have diminishing or even negative returns if we got anyone else involved.

I also have a political issue: I want Paed to understand what a lifeline DS2 has had by being allowed to remain in nursery an extra year - he is accessing the curriculum for the first time. SALT is all for it for suitable children.

Best wishes and thanks for your continuing invaluable contributions.

moondog Fri 18-Sep-09 22:17:19

Interesting reading all of which of course I agree with, apart from the Greenspan stuff.I used to think like this (did for years and years and years).

What behaviour analysis did for me was show me that if you achieve fluency in a task, then true understanding (basically a synonym for 'emotional intelligence') of that task can then follow. It doesn't have to develop first or in exact synchronicity with the task in which mastery has been achieved.
You have effectively found this yourself with the calendar, in which you have achieved a fluent behaviour (ie perusing calendar and follwing your protocol) and thne finding that it starts to mean something to yuor ds.Same with the clock. At this moment in time, he probably is pairing a colour and a word (ie random string of sounds that comprise 'afternoon'). But as fluency achieved, he will begin to pair colour and concept of 'afternoon' and then as final step, drop the colour and be left holding on only to semantic content of 'afternoon/morning' and so on.

With me?

I would heartily recommend Sense and Nonsense even for peopel who are not interested in ASD or behavioural treatments. It really helps to get your head around a lot of this stuff and gives a concise evaluation of the therapies on offer.

Greenspan has a good reputation but most of his research is not independent and as I am sure you know, that just won't do these days.

tingler Sun 20-Sep-09 22:10:41

Always interesting to hear your views!

I suppose it's a bit like the way we teach children good manners. We start them "doing" the manners by rote long before they have any understanding of what politeness really is. At first, those "thank you"s are devoid of emotional understanding. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

I picked up a bit of irritation in Greenspan's tone in his brief reference to ABA in "The Child with Special Needs" - perhaps no love lost between them?

What does Sense and Nonsense say about Floortime?

saintlydamemrsturnip Sun 20-Sep-09 22:23:41

DS1's school has a different colour for each day of the week. (Different t-shirts and jumpers). It has worked really well for him - he knows days of the weeks in colours and in name and he knows what is happening when.

I will be doing a little bit of research into Floortime (with severely affected children)

moondog Sun 20-Sep-09 22:44:09

Dame, love the different jumoper thing.I've been trying to persuade folk to do similar for years. Many like the idea but lack discipline to carry through.

I have fantasies about doing similar with fragrances in heating vents in some establishmnets-tapping into what people can access rather than always working on a channel that is not working properly.

Sense & Nonsnese doesn't dis Floortime, just points out need for more independent research.

moondog Sun 20-Sep-09 22:45:18

It's all synaesthetic.
We could weave such a strong web of understanding liek this.

It's all basically stimulus equivalence (Sidman 1990).

moondog Sun 20-Sep-09 22:46:25

'We could weave such a strong web of understanding liek this.'

Literally, not metaphorically.
(Although actually am not averse to going with it metaphorically either)


<passes spliff>

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