You can contact me at

Monday, October 06, 2008

Give Me a Five!

I'm back from vacation! I got sick right after I got, so I was MIA for a while. I wanted to share my experience about teaching my son to tell time, but I remember how confusing it can be and how hard it can be to remember that the 2 stands for 10 minutes, etc. I taught my son (he just turned 6) the o'clocks first and of course that was no problem. Then I put the clocks away and introduced him to the 5 short and long chains and arrows. I had him arrange the short one first and he did that easily. Then we worked on the large one. I wanted him to learn to count by 5's so he could just count by 5's around the clock to tell the minutes until he just 'remembered' on his own after some time. So after we worked on the long chain and arrows, I asked him to find a pattern on the numbers. If you look at the ones digit, I pointed out that there is a pattern of 5, 0, 5, 0, 5, 0, etc. Then when you look at the tens digit you get 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, etc. so I pointed out that there is two of each number in the tens while the ones just repeat the pattern 5, 0, 5, 0, etc. So then, I had him write the numbers to 60 counting by 5's on his own (we never even practiced or learned counting by 5's yet) and using the pattern he was able to figure it out. It took him like 7 minutes to figure it out and write the numbers down, but now when he if he forgets what comes next, he thinks of the pattern.

Okay, so that's all fun and honkey dory, but what does that have to do with givin' me a high five? PRACTICE of course! I needed him to practice counting by 5's and he was already burnt out from the chains and writing numbers, but we needed to practice while it was all still in his head nice 'n fresh (he he). So I told him why we call it give me a five (because we have 5 fingers) so I would say "give me 40" and then he would give me 40 fingers, which meant he had to count to 40 by counting by 5's and give me a "5" each time he counted until he got to 40. He thought it was a great game! We continued practicing while I cooked dinner...stirring with one hand, learning to count by 5's with the other, he he. But now he can count by 5's. It's great because now when we're standing in line I just say "give me 85" and he's entertained and learning! He's getting much faster. After doing this for a while, we brought out the clocks and I said start at the number 1 and count by 5's and told him that was how many minutes. So now he checks the hour, counts by 5 around the clock and will give me the time. He's starting to associate 3 with 15 and 1 or 2 other numbers so he's much quicker now, but ideally, he can tell time already. He'll just keep getting quicker with more practice. What I thought was going to be a long process of trying to teach him to tell time, actually ending up only take a day and half and as excited as I was that he "got it" so quickly, I was kinda said, because now my cute clock cards I bought and my cute teaching clocks are neglected. Ah well! Hope this helps someone else!

No comments: