Learning Resources is launching a new digital-analogue teaching clock at this year's Education Show. It is claimed to be the only teaching clock that offers both formats of display simultaneously and certainly provides an effective link between the twin cultures of time description.
The analogue clock hands turn forward and backward while driving the digital display showing five-minute increments. The gearing mechanism ensures that the digital and analogue clock displays always coincide.
The construction looks and feels robust and the scale of the teaching aid makes it viable for whole-class teaching. The clock hands can be turned from the back using a chunky knurled knob or with a grip on the clock-face minute hand.
The analogue display is cheerfully bold and extremely clear, with the hour hand and minute hand colour-matched to the clockface numbering. The minutes are marked out at five-minute intervals.
The digital display can be covered with sliding shutters for teaching purposes and this means that children can make the connection between different descriptions of the hour at hand.
Children need a wide range of opportunities to learn about abstract concepts such as the passage of time, as well as having direct evidence of how time is measured. The short leaflet with tips for teachers is very useful.
Given that language usage for telling the time seems gradually to be following the trend towards digital displays as a numeric rather than fraction-based description, the new product is, shall we say, timely.
* Time Teacher digital-analogue clock Pounds 29.95 (+VAT). Learning Resources, 5 Merchant's Close, Old Medow Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4JJ. Tel: 01553 762276. Stand PV2