In the month of March, most of the world will “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time (DST). This practice of changing the clocks to take advantage of longer sunlit days is sometimes called “Summer Time” in other parts of the world and incorrectly referred to as “Daylight Savings Time” by many in North America. Whatever it is called, the practice is controversial.
Not every state in the Union will be changing their clocks ahead, just as not every country will conform. Daylight Saving Time Around The World 2016 has a list of who will be observing DST in 2016 and when their clocks will be set forward. This page also has some very helpful links for further reading. Other resources for Daylight Saving Time lessons or projects include:
• Daylight Saving Time: Five Resources For The Classroom has links with short descriptions of what is available.
• The Politics of Daylight Saving Time is a good springboard for older students interested in holding a debate on the subject.
• Daylight Saving Time printable worksheets for 6th & 7th grade.
• A Country/State Flip Book can include whether or not that country/state observes DST and why.
• Children enjoy moving the hands ahead on the classic Judy Clock. This activity makes DST concrete for younger students.
Prepare for the Effects of Daylight Saving Time in the Classroom
The effects of daylight saving time on kids are sleep disruption and disorientation. For this reason, many suggest that class and school performance tests should not be scheduled in the first few weeks of a time change. One teacher compares the transition to “Zombies Teaching Zombies at Dawn” and rightly points out that teachers will be affected by this change, too.
Teachers in a classroom have less flexibility but still can help students by providing short stretching breaks several times a session. Keeping the room well-lit and attractive helps alertness, too. It’s important for teachers to remember to take care of themselves as well! Planning to get to bed earlier over the weekend we change the clocks will make Monday morning go much smoother for everyone.