UCSC Professor Tackles Time-Telling with Kid Klok

blog_klokUC Santa Cruz cognitive psychology professor Dr. Dominic Massaro may be known for his “fuzzy logical” model of perception, his creation of Baldi, the computer animated talking head who can serve as a language tutor, and his formulation of various language learning products. But lately, Massaro has been revolutionizing the way kids learn to tell time.

While helping out in his son’s second grade classroom, Massaro observed some of the common errors children make while trying to tell time from an analog clock, such as reversing the hands or mistaking the Roman numeral II (meaning 10 minutes past the hour) as meaning two minutes past the hour. Armed with these observations and his knowledge of cognitive psychology, as well as the goal of making analog clock time-telling easy to learn, Massaro came up with the Kid Klock. The Kid Klok is an educational clock and training accessories designed to reduce the frustration and confusion of young students trying to learn to read an analog clock. A complete revamp of the typical analog clock, the Kid Klok separates the hours from the minutes and creates a visual association between the numerals and the hands using size and color. The short blue hour hand rotates around an inner circle with the blue numerals one through 12, while the long red minute hand rotates around the outer circle with red numerals 00 through 55.

Previously available as a classroom program including demonstrator clocks and training dice, Kid Klok is now also available as an iPhone application.

The Kid Klok, Teacher Demonstrator Clock, Training Dice, and written lessons are for sale locally at Kaleidoscope, and also available from Franklin Instrument Company on the web at franklinclock.com/kid_klok.htm or by phone at (800) 321-2353.

Massaro has also published two books on time for elementary and high school and college students. “Time to Learn About Time” invites children and adults to explore together the fascinating history of time measurement. To learn more about this book, see mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/dwm/timebook.htm. “Puzzles of Time: A Handbook for the New Millennium” contains a wide range of accessible time-related problems and their solutions drawn from biology, astronomy, psychology, physics and the everyday life of reflective people. To learn more about this book, visit mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/dwm/dwm_files/timepuzzles.html.

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