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Linglette, how are you getting along with your clock?

(12 Posts)
moondog Wed 21-Oct-09 23:00:37

Was discussing it with some colleagues who were very interested and urged me to get you to give us an update.

linglette Thu 22-Oct-09 10:14:07

It's been a great success moondog. Several times I've wanted to post but it felt like bragging.

I honestly think DS2 understands morning afternoon and evening now independently of changes in daylight hours and we use it every day. It is positioned near the large timetimer in the kitchen (which DS2 also uses daily and spontaneously).

So, for instance, DS2's brother practices piano daily in the morning with my help. Ds2 gets jealous. I tell him that I will practice with DS2 in the afternoon. He then accepts that morning is DS1's practice time and watches peacefully (ish!). If I then sneak in a bit of DS1 piano time in the afternoon or evening, DS2 gets cross. He spontaneously runs into the kitchen to check the clock and verifies that the hand is not on the morning colour. He runs back shouting "it's not morning, it's afternoon. it's not time for DS1 to play piano".

I can use "morning", "afternoon" and "evening" to explain changes of daily routine that might otherwise bother him.

As a bonus, he can tell the time to the nearest hour (because he knows he must look only at the small hand - why don't they do this with all kids I wonder?) and has generalised this to all clocks with clear numbers. So if we sit in a cafe and it's 2.25pm he will spontaneously look at the clock and say "it's two o'clock in the afternoon - when it's 3 o'clock, we'll get DS1" (we leave to get DS1 at 3.10pm).

If it's 9.15am, I can say "when it's 11 o'clock, we'll go to soft play" and instead of running to get his shoes (as he would have done before) he looks at the clock with anticipation and says "it's 9 o'clock now, when it's 11 o'clock, we'll go to softplay. From about 10.40am , he will start announcing that it's 11 o'clock and therefore time to go (which is quite helpful - means we're on time).

I can imagine a commercial version that included "nighttime" - nighttime would be represented by a dark blue circle outside the main circle. It would have just one hand that would perhaps "stretch" when nighttime began then contract when it went back to the inner daytime circle.

Problems of course arise if a child doesn't sleep 12 hours a day (it's happened to us once when he got up at 6.30am). It wouldn't be suitable for a bedroom without the additional "nighttime" function. Kitchen (or classroom) is perfect though.

To give you a sense of his foundational skills - he still really only has "ownership" of "what" and "where" questions. "Who" is context-reliant though getting better, and "how" and "why" are a long way away.

But now he has such a concrete grasp of "when", I can ask and use general "when" statements and he understands them well. "When Oliver comes, we'll have a snack". I strongly suspect he "sees" the clock or the timetimer or the calendar in his mind as he listens to my "when" statements. He spontaneously says "when I'm 5, I'll have a birthday party and go on a train ride". The calendar has taught him to anticipate.

Interestingly, my brother (similar traits) spontaneously taught himself to tell the time at 4.

Now when I see the ghastly "tell the time" toys in the early learning centre catalogues, I want to scream at them saying "why are you deliberately trying to confuse these kids?". I may contact ELC with a proposal!

I truly believe that a child who can use the calendar, timetimer and clock can get a good or superior grasp of time concepts even with receptive language problems. Time is life's biggest unvarying certainty so must be a wonderful thing for our kids to master.

Next step for me is to coordinate the days-of-the-week colour coding that nursery has introduced (well-done nursery) and "map" these with highlighter pen on to our calendar......

misscutandstick Thu 22-Oct-09 13:58:08

WOw!!! go you!!!!!!!!

it sounds like you've done a brilliant job - very resourceful.

Its not bragging if you have found/devised a system that may be of help to others struggling in the same position. smile

moondog Thu 22-Oct-09 14:45:33

Fantastic.
I am so pleased for you and completely support everything you say.

Once you grasp time (in mico or macro sense), language becomes more accesible as it is used to refer specifically to past/present/future

Remind me again how you made your clock please-I remember you musing on pulling 3 apart.

Shells Thu 22-Oct-09 18:23:54

Sounds really interesting. Do you think you'd be able to post a picture?

linglette Thu 22-Oct-09 19:19:08

1. Take kitchen clock and colour in clock face in three colours, one for morning (we do 7.30 till 12), one for afternoon, (we do 12 till 6) one for evening (we do 6 till 7.30).
2. remove second hand.
3. tell child to look at little arrow - we say the big arrow is "silly" arrow

Ideally you would remove the minute hand too but I was scared that would break the clock. But I'm sure it can be done.

And an ideal first version for less advanced receptive language ages (DS2 is edging towards 3 in receptive language age) or maybe a child too distracted by numbers would have no numbers at all perhaps.... just the colours......

Shells, I'm embarrassed to say I am yet to manage to ever upload a picture to the web but will get my next non-luddite visitor to do so. My colouring in is a bit rubbish too.

moondog Thu 22-Oct-09 19:29:06

Yes, please post a picture! Great that you didn't have to dismantle 3 clocks after all.

D'you know what, I reckon there is scope for an MN book of SN hints and tips!

troutpout Thu 22-Oct-09 19:59:20

smile..that's really good
Ds taught himself to tell the time at 4 too
However...he has no real concept of what a minute or ten minutes or half an hour feels like. Is this something that it is possible to teach do you think or am i banging my head against a brick wall for nothing?.I can't seem to get him to be reliable with it.I think it's because he loses time when he's thinking about other stuff...so his experience of time is unreliable.
<<sighs>> it's a real problem.
I've tried visual timers (when you can see the time diminishing)...but he still doesn't seem to be able to grasp it.If i ask him to estimate a minute it can be wildly wrong one time or quite accurate the next.The only way he gets it accurate however,is by counting.

Any ideas? It would be really useful for him if he could do it.

RaggedRobin Thu 22-Oct-09 22:54:35

wow! the clock sounds fantastic. and i like the idea of colour coded days of the week. keep em coming!

linglette Fri 23-Oct-09 09:01:47

have attempted to upload photo and failed blush. But all you do is draw three radiuses/radii from the centre then colour in (better than I did preferably if you don't want people to laugh).

trout - does he brush his teeth for a minute?could a minute be called "one toothbrushing?" could half an hour be called "one playtime" or something like that? A bit like how everyone calls a night "one sleep"?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 03-Nov-09 21:54:01

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busybeingmum Tue 03-Nov-09 22:21:28

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