This week I have been working on Time and Clocks with my third grader.
Surprisingly, my son knew very little about the months or where they fall in the seasons. This is strikingly different from my daughter who came to third grade with a head filled with dates, times, seasons… she could tell me what I was wearing the previous winter solstice. I am not kidding. I asked my son what month it is, and he had no idea! So, it has been a fun week… there is so much to learn on this subject!
We started with the fabulous poem last week:
In January falls the snow,
In February cold winds blow,
In March peep out the early flowers,
And April comes with sunny showers.
In May the roses bloom so gay,
In June the farmer mows his hay,
In July brightly shines the sun,
In August harvest is begun.
September turns the green leaves brown,
October winds then shake them down,
November fills with bleak and drear,
December comes and ends the year.
by Flora Willis Watson
from A Journey through Time in Verse and Rhyme
We also practice saying the months in order, forwards and backwards.
Of course we also learned:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest to thirty-one incline,
Which has twenty-eight,
And in leap year,
We began the week with a drawing of a circular calendar, inspired by this one. This was a wonderful drawing, but afterwards I wished that we would have drawn the Spring quadrant in green, and the Summer quadrant in yellow. Both of the children made that observation too.
I told the a Slav Fairy Tale called “The Twelve Months” by Alexander Chodsvko. The next day, we chatted about the story and referenced the months and seasons in our circular calendars.
The next day we pasted a painting that he had completed last month into his lesson book, and he used his ruler to make a calendar page for January. He was very excited that I let him use a ruler to make the lines. He is always trying to get me to let him use a rulers and saucers for form drawing!
Next up was clock-making. I started with the story The Responsible Cuckoo from the book The Swiss Twins by Lucy Finch Perkins.
We each made a clock, and began practicing telling time and making calculations. I asked him questions like, “Can you show me 1:15 on the clock?” Then I would put a time on the clock and ask him to read it. Then, “It is now 12:30, and I just put cookies in the oven. If they take 10 minutes to bake, then what time will they be ready? Show me on your clock.” We will keep practicing during morning warm-up in the weeks to come.
We also practiced with our bodies. I put a stick on one hand (the minutes’ hand), and I would use my body to show a time. He would guess, then he would make a time with his body and I would guess.
Below are a couple of pages from my daughter’s 3rd grade Time and Measurement book.
This is an exercise from Live Ed. We begin with one color, showing a second. Then switch to another color and work our way out for a minute, change colors and spiral around for an hour, etc. Imagine a month, going around our desk and room. How far would we have to go to draw the year? How far for a century?