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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Use Music to Enhance Your Young Child's Memory

Clock girlBy the end of first grade students should know how to tell time to the hour and half-hour, on both an analogical and digital clock. This is sometimes a difficult skill for them to master, especially transitioning from a clock with "hands" to a digital one.

Often, I’ve found that putting crucial skills to music really helps children remember. Here’s a helpful tune I want to share for "telling time" fun with digital clocks.

This song helps children remember the markings on digital clocks for the hour and half-hour.

The tune is familiar to most Kindergarten and First Grade students. It’s "If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands" and it goes like this:

"Double dot, double zero means o’clock!"
"Double dot, double zero means o’clock!" "Double dot, double zero, double dot double zero, double dot double zero means o’clock!"

For the half-hour the words are:

"Double dot, three zero means half-past!" "Double dot, three zero means half-past!" "Double dot, three zero, double dot, three zero, double dot, three zero means half-past!"

Simple songs like this really work in helping young children remember skills. I often hear the children humming it at their tables as they are doing their clock practice work.

And don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing it in the car!

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