The main purpose of these clocks is to assist students with their executive functioning skills of time management, task initiation, emotional control, and sustained attention. A side benefit is the conceptual development of fractions! The analog clock, unlike a digital clock, allows for the visualization of manageable chunks of time which has a positive impact on childrens’ ability to organize, plan, and manage task completion.
It is a bit old school with a current research based twist. In the past, all students could look up and visualize the chunks of time available for projects. They could “see” the passage of time which helped them develop a sense of time and ability to manage it. Digital time is abstract and does not promote understanding of the actual passage of time. Sarah Ward, an executive functioning expert, has developed a system that allows children to track and manage time by using a strategy called “Time Markers”. This strategy has children highlight the “chunk” of time available for a specific task and allows them to see how much time a task should take, how much time has passed, and how much time is left. Another executive functioning skill is emotional control. Some of our students become anxious when faced with tasks. The visual passage of time provides these students with a concrete reminder that there is enough time to do what they need to do.