I spent several hours over the course of a few days building this clock – it displays math problems every minute where the answers are the current time in hours and minutes. Currently, the range for operands is 0-60, depending on the operation, and the operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I was inspired by this physical math clock that I coveted heavily as a math teacher. I’m not a teacher anymore, so I actually have the time to just make it myself.
I originally set out on programming the clock with the intention of actually building my own physical clock with a Raspberry Pi. I still plan on doing that, although I realized this app stands on its own – especially in the context that my fellow teachers and I used clocks and timers. We would use our Prometheans or DocCams to project timers from our phones and laptops. The same can be done with this clock. My intention with the math clock, either physical or projected, was to get students to stop asking me what time it is, while also providing them a little challenge when the question crossed their mind.
As I was figuring out the functions for putting out randomized math problems, I realized another use for those functions – I could use the functions to output clean problems for worksheets and whiteboard drills. There are already resources for that, but they’re often not as feature-full or accessible as I would like them to be. Using these functions, I can build an app to meet those needs and output problems in any form I wish – worksheets, flash-cards, timed slides, etc. And I can customize the difficulty of those problems.
Now that the functionality of the clock is done, I am working on adding features and options:
- How many operands per problem
- How many places per operand
- Range of operands (e.g., 0-12 for typical multiplication
- Types of problems and number sets
- Identity Properties (1×n, n÷1, n-0, n+0)
- Inverse Properties (n×1/n, n+(-n))
- Absolute Value
- Square Root
- Binary (just numbers)
- Hex (just numbers)
- Roman numbers (just numbers)
- Maybe verbal time in other languages
- Rate of problem change (default = 1 minute)
- 12-hour or 24-hour clock (default = 24-hour clock)
- Color options
- Black background, white text
- Black chalkboard, white text
- Green background, white text
- Green chalkboard, white text
- White background, black text
- Font options
- Serif, Sans Serif, Pangolin (the default font as shown in the image)
- Text size options
- Feedback form, like a real, grown-up app!
- Buy me
a beerSkittles button
I will also be working concurrently to make a sister app for the other functionality I talked about. That will take priority over most of the non-critical math clock features – like a “Skittles” button, and displaying the time in binary. At the very least, I want users to be able to set the difficulty, 12-hour or 24-hour display, basic appearance and types of operands and operations down to square roots. Many of those functions will be used in the sister app.