Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Big Braille Clock to Support Understanding Elapsed Time

tactile features on a big clock with movable hands
Created with the help of Stephanie Sarge, Paraprofessional
I have a braille student in elementary school who had begun a unit on time. I made this clock to help her have a better understanding of time and elapsed time. I made this clock the size of a poster board. Each hour is marked with a raised foam texture, and individual minutes are marked in puffy paint. Since the clock is larger, the student is able to feel and identify time to the nearest minute using the puffy paint minute marking. The hands of the clock are movable using Velcro and the minute hand is a different texture than the hour.  I have an additional minute hand (the stars) to show the student where the minute hand will end so she has a better understanding of how the minute and hour hand changes for elapsed time. For example a question on the test might be: 
screen shot of a test question asking "Kelly went to bed 30 minutes after the time shown on the clock. At what time did Kelly go to bed?"



My student is still in the process of learning what each minute segment of the clock stands for. When telling time on the clock I made, both the hour numbers and their minute equivalents are brailled for her reference. When looking at the problem above, the students are asked to find the time 30 minutes after the time shown. For children with vision, they are able to count 30 minutes ahead and mark the new time, or they have the picture to reference. For a braille student, there is a second minute hand to help them keep their place and give them a tactile visual of the time elapsed since the time given. This way, my student is able to feel the minute hand on the 10, count by 5s in order to reach 30 minutes, and place her additional hand on the 4, which would be 30 minutes after the original time shown.

a clock showing 8:50 with a yellow hour hand and red minute handthe clock with hands showing the answer to the test question presented earlier

       detail of the clock showing the tactile features

Using the Velcro gives the student a concrete way of looking at the time because the arrows do not move once placed on the Velcro. This process is also very useful when asked to find elapsed time over hours.


Collage of big braille clock



Posted by Ter67

Posted on March 15, 2017
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Big Braille Clock to Support Understanding Elapsed Time

Ter67 commented on April 4, 2018

I love your idea.