March 5, 2014

ThinkFun Review #3: Zingo! Time-Telling

Get Zingo! Time-Telling here.
The last of the games that I received from ThinkFun for review is Zingo! Time-Telling. This game is a fun way to teach kids how to interpret clocks and time. I think being able to tell time is very empowering to a lot of special needs students, since it will allow them to better be aware of how much time will have to pass until the next transition or their next break. Knowing how to read a clock will also help kids who have poor time management skills to better plan ahead and know how much time is left to complete a job. This is definitely a very functional skill that is vital to daily life.

Two difficulty levels.
Since I work with a lot of students who do not yet have this skill, we took a few sessions to expose them to the concept and practice using Zingo! Time-Telling. This game is similar to other versions of Zingo! in that it contains game boards, a Zing-zinger, and tiles. As with other versions, this game comes in two difficulty levels: one side of the board contains both analog clocks as well as the digital numbers underneath, whereas on the flipside only the analog clocks are shown. I used this game with groups of second and third-graders. Common Core State Standards require instruction for this concept beginning in first grade and culminating in third grade (1.MD.B.3, 2.MD.C.7, 3.MD.A.1), so I figured those were good groups to practice with.

My 2nd grader is matching up the tiles.
Prior to introducing this game, I did a quick pre-teaching lesson with a real clock just to warm students up to the idea. With my 2nd graders I used the easier difficulty and with my third-graders the more challenging one. This worked out perfectly, as it was right around the difficulty level they could handle. What I really liked about this game is that the hands are color coded to match up to the colors of the tiles. This makes it very visual for students and helps them determine which number corresponds to the hour and which number corresponds to the minute. We talked about the different clock icons and compared the clock's hands to the digital numbers. My older students had fun, too! We tried to figure out the tiles we needed to fill in our board before moving the Zing-zinger. I noted some marked improvement towards the end of the session: students needed fewer prompts, especially for the minute part. After they had filled up one board, they asked to play again. I love it when students are learning while playing!
My 3rd grader is trying to find a match.

This game might also be a great tool for older students to work on time application skills or sequential skills. You could use it to teach the concepts "before/after" or teach scheduling and time-management. Or, if you are a parent or teacher, you can simply use this game to drill those math common core standards. 

Once again, we have a ThinkFun winner! Please make sure to also check out my reviews of Rush Hour Jr. and Zingo! Word-Builder. I will be definitely on the lookout for more great games by this company.


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