Que hora es

Do your students have trouble telling time? Thankfully, my school has digital clocks in each classroom and students have been able to tell me the current time. Last year, I introduced additional clocks in my room to be able to tell the time in various capitals in Latin America.

time in spanish

However, what I have noticed is that a majority of students are unable to read an analog clock. I have had many students switch the hour hand and minute hand, and even some who were just so confused they couldn’t even come up with an answer. What an embarrassing situation to put our students in.

One of my former colleagues recently told me about a conversation in his department where other teachers were saying their students were struggling with telling time. My former colleague said his students were just fine. Turned out the difference was the use of digital clocks instead of analog clocks while assessing them.
Re Pin This PostI guess the question we must ask ourselves is: Is reading an analog clock a required skill in the 21st century? If yes, then is it the responsibility of the Spanish teacher to teach students how to read an analog clock since many students come to us without this skill? Or is using an analog clock about as common as reading a sun dial?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Are your students able to read analog clocks? How do you teach time in Spanish?
Para Que Usas Tu Celular

About spanishplans

Spanish Teacher in Chicago. Have studied or traveled to Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Have taught level 1 at middle and high school levels. Degree in Spanish and Master's in Teaching and Leadership. Blogger www.SpanishPlans.org
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5 Responses to Que hora es

  1. Nicole Fannoney says:

    I definitely think its crazy that kids do not know how to tell time without a digital clock. Every clock I see in school is still analog. Every clock I see in a store is analog. We can’t let technology take the reason to learn or think away. Its almost like saying why teach math if they can just pull out a calculator. I was shocked last year when doing pen pal letters that my kids in 8th grade didn’t know how to address an envelope. When they got their letters from Mexico one kid asked me to help him read it. I was eager to help but when I looked it was in English he said I can’t read cursive. I think that this is a shame. These skills are not obsolete even if they are not mainstream. It is a disservice in my opinion to not teach or hold students accountable to tell time and understand how to function with other more dated practices.

  2. spanishplans says:

    You’re absolutely right, Nicole. Things like cursive and telling time are being pushed out of the curriculum so we can make time to teach to the test. It’s quite frightening what students come NOT knowing by the time they reach middle school/high school nowadays.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read your post right at the time when I am teaching time. I teach the kids the traditional way of telling time. I have them subtract minutes from the upcoming hour. I have paper plate clocks (analog style) :-)… Old school haha. When a student says “son las ocho y cuarenta y cinco”, I explain that although there isn’t anything wrong with the expression— it is used frequently with native speakers however for a test or quiz they must know the traditional way. I explain that the textbook fashion is how the national exams test their skills and they should learn both ways ( one being more formal or traditional- classroom like). They seem to accept the response but I find using whole group white boards and kinesthetic activities with the clocks greatly increases their understanding. Its actually one of the easier concepts to teach now for me.

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