One of the parents has asked me how we are learning elapsed time.
If Patrick goes to bed at 8:00 at night and wakes up at 7:00 the next morning, how many hours has he slept for? This question is straight forward. We have learned to count around the clock -- just like we do when we count on a number line.
The confusion sets in when we add a half to it. If Patrick goes to bed at 8:30 at night and wakes up at 7:00 the next morning, how many hours has he slept for? We have done a lot of work around counting hours and half hours. We have looked at half circles to represent a half an hour.
When we have talked about solving this kind of problem, we talked about first counting the half hour and writing down the "half" so we remember it. SO -- we have counted that half hour, which brings us up to 9:00. Then we count the rest of the hours . So we have 10.... plus the half. So we say "Ten and a half.
A big part of seeing it visually relies on remembering to place the hour hand half way between the 8 and the 9. We have worked on this a lot!
We try to use real time situations in the classroom (How long is it until lunch time? Which is a question that I am asked every day. So I try to ask the class on the hour and half hour all morning (lunch time, 11:30, is the only "benchmark" time that falls exactly on the hour or half hour during the school day).