“Understanding Maths – Telling Time” by appp media is simply brilliant in its clean sleek design and thoughtful teaching strategies. It’s perfect for kids just learning to mark time and also sophisticated enough for older students. The outstanding features include being able to record a child’s voice in telling the time, and the gentle scaffolding of the needed skills to help a child learn how to set the hands of the clock and how to do maths when calculating periods of time. Play is intuitive and the reinforcers keep kids engaged as it allows kids to advance at their own pace. Teachers and parents will appreciate the ability to collect data, check progress, and adjust difficulty as a child gains mastery.
On opening, there are 6 mini units or games that are aligned to the U.S. Common Core Mathematics Standards. Lessons begin with the Learning Clock to familiarize kids with the basic structure and movement of a clock. In units 2, 3, and 4, children have the ability to earn a star for every 10 correct answers. When 3 stars have been achieved, kids are awarded a new fab clock for free play in game 6, and one they’ll want to share and collect with friends.
The Learning Clock
The Learning Clock starts at the beginning by familiarizing children with the clock mechanics. It introduces the hour and minute hands, and how the clock is “set” to tell time. By using the cogwheel button that is located on top, kids can record their own voice in reciting the time. Using a local accent or having kids making up one of their own is tons of fun. Hearing their own voice helps to make the lessons stick by pulling in multisensory systems from the body. The cogwheel button can also be used to increase the challenge by deciding whether the time will be spoken with “to” and “past” an hour or use the more formal recording to recite the hour with minutes. Touching the minute hand (or the second hand) on the face of the clock will display the minutes up to 60, bringing in strong bold and consistent visual prompts.
Setting the Analog Clock
In unit/game 2, turn the hands of the analog clock so that they match the time shown on the digital clock. This is easily said but also difficult for some children to master. Thoughtful visual prompts of using consistently in color alignment of the hour and minute hands throughout the app, help provide structure for retaining information. The tasks automatically become more difficult. They begin by identifying full hours and proceed to set half hours, quarters, and then five-minute intervals. Lastly, kids are challenged to set all possible times. After completing 3 sets of 10 correct answers, kids will win a stylized clockface to collect and play within game/unit 6.
Setting the Digital Clock
In unit/game 3, by turning the hands of the digital clock kids match the time shown on the analog clock. Although seemingly similar to game 2, it is a subtle shift of increasing the difficulty to becoming more independent in telling time. In game 3, kids will continue to earn stars every time they are correct. By now, parents and teachers will have accumulated enough data to see where a child’s strength and weaknesses are in the tracking area under the icon by a child’s name. Multiple kids or students can sign on and play the game one at a time to keep individualized records within the app.
Periods of Time
In unit/game 4, children must project a mindset of how time passes to set the time on the clock according to the instructions on top. It is a beginning of interplay of past and future that helps “set” creative play and thought in motion. A gray shadow will help them visualize how much time has passed as well as an analog clock that remains fixed at the starting time under the directions. Every correctly answered question will earn more stars toward the ultimate timepiece to play in unit/game 6
The timer is a learning and play piece that is self-motivating and driven. Open experimentation with time frames both the beginning and ending to a task. Teachers and parents can also use this as a countdown device, or simply for the fun of…”Can we walk from one hall to the next in 2 minutes?” In addition, there is also a reminder setting to let you know you are at the pre-designated time before the timer ends. Using the timer for homework, to brush teeth, or doing chores is a fun way to learn how long it takes to do an activity or limit the time spent on activities. For example: Setting the timer for 15 minutes and the signal for 3 minutes before time ends, supplies a prompt that time is almost done.
My clock is an open playground for exploration of time. By winning 3 stars in games 2, 3, and 4; kids earn different timepieces. When playing as a class, it’s fun to compare how far you’ve gotten in the game and what clocks you’ve won. Playing only reinforces the concepts and practical life skills of telling time.
As always, appp media takes a child’s privacy and online safety very seriously. Visit their website: www.apppmedia.com. All their apps include:
- no links to websites outside the app without a gate.
- no ads
- no personal data collection or tracking
- no social media sharing
- no in-app purchases
In summary, this is an outstanding app for learning to tell time. Appp media has always put forth an excellent product. Their engagement of multisensory systems and gradual shifts in instruction, so that a child learns and retains information is impeccable. Awarded Teacher’s with Apps Badge of Highest Recommendation, it is, of course, a Top Pick.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.