Telling time from a clock is easy, learning time calculations is not

A child can learn to tell the time on a clock fairly easily but mastering time calculations is a whole other ball game

It is very important to acknowledge that there is a HUGE difference between telling time, and working out what the time was 45 minutes ago.

Telling Time Ages 5 to 6

A child should be able to read the hour and half-hour marks on an analogue clock and be able to draw in the hands for example if you say “Draw three o’clock.”

Telling Time Ages 6 to 7

A child should know the number of seconds in a minute, minutes in an hour, hours in a day and days in a week. A child should also be able to understand quarter-to and quarter-past when read a clock or drawing the hands on a clock.

Telling Time Ages 7 to 8

A child should be able to also read digital clocks, understand AM and PM as well as the 24-hour clock (e.g. that 1PM = 13:00), and be able to use the associated vocabulary such as morning, afternoon, AM, PM, noon, midday and midnight etc.

Time Calculations for Ages 8+

Children age 8+ should be able to perform time calculations starting with simple sums such as “It is 8AM now, what will the time be one hour from now?” – continuing on to more complex questions for 9+ into years 5 and 6 using train timetables and working out how long it takes a train to go from one city to another.

AM / PM Time Calculations

More complex questions involve AM and PM – e.g. where the answer to a train timetable question overlaps from AM into PM and vice-versa.

24 Hour Calculations

This is the final level in KS2 which a lot of children struggle with, including into Secondary School (and including a lot of adults!).

Such questions involve adding and subtracting hours and minutes even across midnight into the next day, where answers must be expressed in 24hr clock notation.

For example a plane leaving London at 8:05PM which takes seven and a half hours to fly to New York. What time will it arrive in London time and New York time, expressing both answers in 24hr notation including the day.

This is not easy and requires a better method than just using clock faces.

Check the Marks and Plan the Answer

It is vitally important to know how many marks a question is worth and to think how to pick up all those marks

Some questions on an exam paper are worth one mark. For example an 11+ paper that might be a questions such as 1.5 x 3. For such questions it is fine to write down the answer.

If a question has two marks available that normally means the person doing the marking wants to see some working out or articulation of an intermediate result. For example if the question is how much change would you get from £10 when buying two pens at £2 each.

Most exam papers progress to longer and more complex questions as they go along. If a question has four marks available it is worth a child checking that first and then spending literally ten seconds working out what they need to articulate on the paper to secure all four marks.

Think of it as a game.

You’re driving Super Mario along the road and you want to drive over the coins as you go picking up as many points as you can.

I’ve seen very clever children lose marks on mock tests I’ve run because they’re sometimes “too” clever. They can work out the answer to a four step question (see the example below) in their head and just write down the answer. Unfortunately the answer is only worth one mark. It’s all the working out and sub-totals which score the other three marks.

As part of my tutoring I focus strongly on exam technique, including making sure you’re picking up all the points as you go.

Contact me using the form below for a free introductory online maths tutorial:

Online Maths Tutoring Hours for the UK & Ireland

Online maths tutorial times for the UK & Ireland are 7am to 10pm seven days a week (depending on availability).

The Tutor Dragon is based in London and with is team able to deliver online maths tutorials in the UK & Ireland from 07:00 to 22:00 seven days a week.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Bespoke Online Maths Tuition

Bespoke online maths tuition can significantly improve your child’s ability by focusing on the topics he or she needs to focus on the most

At school a maths teacher has to work with a lot of children across a broad range of abilities. This works in general, but if a child is struggling with one particular topic – e.g. fractions and percentages, the teacher may not be able to give the child all the help they need to master the topic.

This is were online maths tuition is so valuable.

The Tutor Dragon can focus on the one topic your child has been struggling with to make sure they master that topic.

The outcome is three-fold;

Firstly, your child will be much more confident in the classroom. It cannot be overstated how important this psychological aspect of learning is.

Secondly, by overcoming one topic, it raises your child’s numeracy in general. Learning how to work out percentages involves a lot of multiplication, division, addition and subtraction as well as relating maths to the real world.

Thirdly, higher scores in the exams. A high or low score in a few questions relating to fractions for example can make the difference between an A and a B, or a B and a C for example.

A Free Introductory Session with the Tutor Dragon

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Online Maths Tutoring Hours for Shanghai and Beijing

Online maths tutorial times for Shanghai & Beijing are 14:00 to 22:00 (Beijing Time)

We are able to offer online maths tutorials to all cities in China from 14:00 to 22:00 (Beijing Time).

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Online Maths Tutoring Hours for Australia

Online maths tutorial times for Australia are 15:00 to 22:00 for Perth / West & Central time, and 17:00 to 22:00 for Sydney / Eastern time.

We are working to open an Australia & New Zealand centred office later in 2020 / early 2021 but in the mean time we are able to offer online maths tutorials to the region from 15:00 to 22:00 for Perth / West & Central time, and 17:00 to 22:00 for Sydney / Eastern time.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Online Maths Tutoring Hours for New Zealand

Online maths tutorial times for New Zealand are 17:00 to 22:00.

We are working to open a New Zealand centred office later in 2020 but in the mean time we are able to offer online maths tutorials to New Zealand from 5pm to 10pm.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus.

Example: We are very pleased to be tutoring a child from Auckland in Year 4 who is already very bright but who needs help decoding and answering questions where the numbers and calculations required are embedded in questions in words rather than number.

Children learn more by doing than listening

During a tutorial a child learns a lot because they’re listening, learning and most importantly DOING…

In a classroom a child will listen, hopefully learn and then during homework recall.

In the classroom it is not possible to each each child to come up to the front and show whether or not they’ve understood how to work out perimeter and area of an irregular shape. Only when the teacher marks their homework will any lack of understanding become apparent.

In an online tutorial however, a child will be called upon continually to show they’ve understood and to recall this by solving a similar but different problem.

The aim of every online tutorial is for the child to be able to understand a topic more deeply and to use recall and experience to solve similar but different problems.

Primary School Clock and Time Tuition

Analog and digital clock & time tuition is a great way to develop problem solving skills for children at Primary School.

The advantage of running this tuition online is the ability to solve similar but different problems using analog and digital clock faces on which the tutee can draw, work things out, erase and try again.

Initially it is best to steer clear of the 24 hour clock, using instead AM and PM.

Simple hour and minute additions and subtractions are are great way for children to gain confidence in time numeracy before moving on to more complex problems such as train timetables!

If you’d like a free tutorial session please email the Tutor Dragon (note: you’ll need a touch-screen device such as an iPad or similar and ideally a stylus).

The benefits of aerobic exercise on children’s mental performance

Experiments and observations indicate that any kind of physical activity for a child has educational benefits including enhanced attention.

There’s a great new book called “Educational Neuroscience: Development Across the Life Span” which is:

“The first volume to bring together the latest knowledge on the development of educational neuroscience from a life-span perspective, this important text offers state of the art, authoritative research findings in educational neuroscience before providing evidence-based recommendations for classroom practice.”

One key take away is:

“Twenty minutes of moderate exercise improved planning but not attention in 9-10 year olds. But twelve minutes of intensive exercise such are running on a track boosted attention.”