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How Can You Build a Linear Clock?

When teaching time, students have difficulty understanding that the day has twenty four hours because there are only 12 numbers on a clock.  To help students understand a.m and p.m  build a linear clock.  To make a large linear clock that involves all of your students, give students each two sentence strips.  Have students fold each sentence strip in half three times.  This will make eight sections.  Overlap the two sections of the sentence strip so that you now have a very long strip with fourteen sections.  Assign each student a different hour of the day.  For example, one student will have 1 a.m, another 2 a.m. and so on.  The folds on the strips will represent five minute intervals.  Students should start writing on the second section, so that the blank sections can be attached to the next hour.  A student will begin writing the five minute intervals on each fold like so, 1:00, 1:05, 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, 1:25, 1:30, 1:35, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50 1:55.  Then there should be a blank section left afterwards so that the last section may be attached to the next hour.  Between the five minute intervals, student may draw four little marks to represent the minutes or little tics on a clock between the numbers.  Provided you have 24 students, you will now have a complete clock with a.m. and p.m. time.  If you hang this linear clock up in your classroom, it will be extremely long and probably wrap around the entire room.  When you take the ends of the liner clock and have them meet in a circular fashion, students have a dawning moment and you can hear “oh!” being whispered under breath throughout the room.  What I like about building this linear clock is that students are able to see both a.m and p.m.  Having the clock hanging up when discussing elapsed time makes finding elapsed time so much more concrete for students who need this support.  In addition to teaching elapsed time, students can label different activities that happen throughout the day and post them over the linear clock.

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