I don’t usually write blog posts recommending products, but I’m making an exception for this educational clock: not because it’s my brother and sister-in-law who make it, but because it’s so versatile I really believe it’s useful to teachers and carers.
Richard and Theresa are children’s nurses and they have a lot of experience working with children with special needs, and this was originally designed as a SEN clock, but I think it could also be used by EFL and MFL teachers.
It has a tickless mechanism, making it suitable for anyone who is susceptible to auditory overload, including those on the autistic spectrum. The background is clutter-free, and because they’re customisable you can choose how much or how little information goes on there, depending on what the child can cope with. They recommend having the hour hand only as that is the most distraction-free, but if you really want the minute and second hands as well, you have the option to have them in a different colour to the hour hand so that they blend into background.
The magnetic pictures make a great visual timetable for anyone who needs structure to the day. I think they work better than a traditional visual timetable, which usually consists of pictures blu-tacked along the bottom of the white board, because the clock shows at a glance whether it is a long or short time to the next event – especially useful for people with a poor concept of time.
You can choose between pictures only, or pictures and numbers, depending on the individual it’s for. The write-on wipe-off surface makes it ideal for teachers, TAs and carers to write additional notes on there, such as required doses of medicines.
The versatility of this clock would also make it ideal for the EYFS setting.
The fact that the pictures have words written under them made me realise that this clock would also be really useful to EAL children. It’s bewildering to be somewhere where you don’t understand the language, and this clock could help introduce structure and reduce anxiety levels for children who have only recently arrived in the country. The pictures would indicate what lesson was next and the words would reinforce the English word for that subject. Because the pictures are magnetic, it’s easy to swap them around for days when lessons happen in a different order.
Thinking about the benefits to EAL children led me to thinking about MFL teachers – most things do because I am one! Because the clocks are custom-made, there is no reason why you can’t have one made with the subject labels in whatever language your class is learning. Most primary school learn one language all the way through KS2, but if your school alternates there is no need to buy a whole new clock when you change languages – you can just order a new set of magnetic pictures.
These clocks are also ideal for children who are learning to tell the time in any language. The pictures can easily be replaced with magnetic words (y cinco, zehn nach, et quart, twenty past) or numbers. You could easily put just the o’clocks first and then add the half and quarter hours and the five minutes as you learn them.
If you have an idea in your head of what a fully customised clock like this is going to cost, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For more info visit Trip Clocks.