Why do children find it difficult to learn to tell the time and what sets EasyRead Time Teacher clocks apart from other brands?
We didn’t just accept that learning to tell the time was hard, we wanted to know why it was hard. Understanding a problem is the first step to finding a solution.
We discovered 2 significant elements that cause children problems
1. In general, regular clocks and watches only display the hour numbers and some markings to indicate minutes. This is only about 20% of the information we need to know, all the other information we need is missing from the clock face.
2. The hands can be ambiguous, they’re often nearly the same length and not pointing specifically to either the hours or the minutes. Most of the time they’re in between numbers anyway, so it’s very difficult to know which number to read.
This is very confusing for a child; it makes it very hard to learn to tell the time.
With this knowledge on board we designed a face that displays all the information we need to know.
Then we enclosed every number on the face in individual boxes and we tailored the length of the hands so that the points of the hands penetrate the number boxes. Now we have a clock that shows all the information we need and hands that tell us exactly which numbers to read.
We eventually realized we had enabled a completely new teaching system. No longer do we have to get students to memorise missing information or explain ambiguous hand positions. We simply teach our students how to read the clock.
Reading a clock is a really simple process. It’s just 3 steps. When an adult tells the time on a regular clock this is what we unconsciously do.
1. We look at the minute hand and assess the minute number value.
2. We judge whether it’s minutes past or minutes to.
3. We look at the hour hand and judge the hour value.
This is the process we use; it’s uncomplicated and it’s easy. Using the EasyRead clock we can change this process into 3 simple instructions. This is our 3-step teaching system:
1. Read the number at the end of the long hand
2. Say which side it’s pointing to (past or to)
3. Read the number at the end of the short hand
Say it like this: 8…minutes to…2
We can make these instructions into a rhyme which makes them even easier for a child to remember:
Read the number at the end of the long hand
Say which side it’s pointing to
Read the number at the end of the short hand
That’s all we have to do
With just a little bit of practice every child can understand and remember these 3 simple steps and learn to tell the time quickly and easily. Learning to read regular clocks and watches will follow naturally as the information on the EasyRead clock becomes memorized through visible and incidental learning.