Analog Clocks and Teaching Angles


Do you teach students how to measure angles? Here’s an awesome little trick to make it much easier for the kids. Analog clocks can serve as a simple measurement estimation tool. Each number on a clock represents exactly 30 degrees. Teach your kids to draw angles that approximate the hands on a clock.

For example, tell them to draw an angle that measures 120 degrees. Most students from the 4th grade and up can multiply 30’s since it’s just like multiplying by 3’s. So to dclock-147257_640raw an angle that measures 120 degrees, the student would count by 30’s (30, 60, 90, 120.) 30 times 4 is 120 so the students draw a hand pointing at an imaginary 12 and an imaginary 4 and VOILA!

I’ve been teaching kids to use protractors for years. It’s so challenging for them. When I tried the clock trick, my kids picked it up like *THAT!* Of course it takes a bit of practice. And your students will probably¬†master it¬†a bit quicker if they are able to see each other’s work. You may want to practice skip counting by 30’s before asking the students to draw angles.

Once the kids get good at drawing the angles, it will be much easier for them to flip it around and measure angles that are already drawn. They will first look at the angle and ask themselves how this would look on a clock.

Have fun!