When my kid asked for a digital watch so that she could tell the time I made a deal with her: if she would do five half hour lessons with me about telling the time, we’d go and buy a digital watch.

She had already mastered skip counting in 5’s, which made the prospect of reading the minute hand reasonable! Before that, telling the ‘oclocks’ and that ‘half pasts’ and the ‘quarter pasts’ and ‘quarter to’s’ is possible.

First, I had to go and buy an analogue clock – our decorative clock was no use for learning. I bought a simple (booring..) one with minutes marked but not numbered.

The clock opens the door to so many mathematically rich conversations. Like really, who is the authority on time anyway?

We used the applet below (by Duane Habecker) in each lesson, for one reason or another. We practiced pairing fives with the integers 1 to 12 in every lesson. And when we went to buy a watch, the analogue watches were WAY more fun than the digital watches – so that’s what she bought!

GeoGebra link: https://www.geogebra.org/m/KufMJ5JM

Next: Skip Counting Fives