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Turn Daylight Savings Time into a Teachable Moment

Don’t lose sleep over this, but Daylight Savings Time (DST) is here!

On March 11th it's time to set your clocks forward and say goodbye to one hour of sleep!

There’s no time to waste! Make this year’s Daylight Savings Time an engaging and meaningful experience for you and your students.

RAFT has plenty of ideas to help you and your students get ready for DST:

  •  “Time for Shadows” shows you how to quickly assemble an equatorial sundial that you can quickly adjust for daylight savings time! Learn about sun positions and shadows with drinking straws, a protractor, a compass, and a CD!
  • Use a view binder cover, a watch, a paperclip, straws, the compass, and other easily accessible resources to create a “View Binder Sundial” similar to the one our forefathers used to tell time before clocks were invented!
  • Create a sand timer (based on the concept of an hourglass), and learn how to measure time with “Sand Timer Primer.”

Why do we have Daylight Savings Time? It is because many people want to gain additional daylight during the early summer evenings. So, clocks are advanced by one hour in the spring, and in the fall, they are set back one hour (the phrases “spring forward” and “fall back” help you remember this). Since 2007, DST begins on the 2nd Sunday of March and ends on the 1st Sunday of November. This year, Sunday, March 11, 2018, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, March 11, 2018, 3:00:00 am local daylight time.

People follow DST throughout much of the U.S., Canada, and Europe since World War I. Today, about 70 countries around the world observe DST in some form, including most of the United States, but U.S. Federal law does not require its observance. For instance, Arizona, Hawaii, and the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa do not use DST since these areas receive so much sun throughout the year that it is not helpful to gain another hour of sunlight in the summer.

--- By Jeanne Lazzarini, RAFT Math Master Educator/Curriculum Writer

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