As I travel and speak to teachers all over the country, one thing that I hear a lot about is calendar time or calendar routine in kindergarten and early childhood. One thing that really shocks me is how many districts and admin have removed the calendar time and calendar routine from the classroom. The arguments for this are time, standards, etc. But my argument for using a calendar routine in kindergarten is time and standards and engagement!
Why A Calendar Routine?
A daily calendar routine provides a dedicated 10 minutes for number talks, covers a multitude of math standards and builds strong number sense for our students. People, that is DAILY practice of multiple standards. This is the type of math engagement our students need. Daily work with numbers, patterns, equations, place value and counting!
In our classroom we use our calendar time to kick off our math block. Calendar IS NOT a part of our morning meeting because we follow a very specific morning meeting routine. Starting the math block with calendar makes sense because all of the math concepts in the calendar!
Each day we cover the following math skills/standards in our 10 minute calendar routine: number recognition, rote counting, 1 to 1 correspondence, subitizing, counting on, 1 more 1 less, greater than/less than, patterns, making 10 and place value. In addition to these we also include ELA standards when writing the days of the week!
How Does Your Calendar Routine Work?
Our calendar routine is designed to be interactive and keeps everyone engaged. Each day we have a Boss Of The Day. The Boss Of The Day leads the calendar and fills in the calendar on our interactive white board. The rest of the class is providing answers, counting, spelling and engaging with the calendar routine.
We use an interactive calendar on our smart board. We do not have a calendar on display in the classroom. The date is displayed along with the days of the week and the months of the year!
The pieces of our calendar are introduced slowly at the beginning of the year. By October we have all of the pieces in the calendar and our calendar routine is flowing smoothly (for the most part!).
Here are the components of our daily 10 minute calendar routine:
Monthly calendar: This is an ongoing slide so most days the Boss of the Day just writes the next number on the calendar and we say the entire date: September 20, 2018. Following a weekend of snow days, etc we would write any missing numbers. On the first day of a month, the Boss Of The Day writes the month as well.
Next, we do Today’s Date Is and write out the date and then we do the digital date! So it might say: Today’s date is September 20, 2018. Today’s digital date is 9-20-2018.
Then we do the days of the week:
The class reads the slide and provides the days and spells the day. At the beginning of the year we refer to the posted days of the week but we also use our sounds. As the year goes in, we can spell the days of the week independently.
Next is our Number Of The Day. This is any number from 1-20. I choose a student to give us the number of the day. Using that number of the day we do the following: write the number, write the number word, make the ten frame, determine even/odd, make tally marks, draw a picture of that many, greater than/less than and counting on and counting back.
We use the ten frame to help us with 1 to 1 correspondence and subitizing. Using the ten frame, we can begin having discussions about a ten frame being ten and working with teen numbers, etc. We also use use our ten frame to determine if a number is even or odd.
Our number looks like is one of the more challenging pieces of the calendar because we want to count really fast and not count as the student draws. This means we use this slide to focus on 1 to 1 correspondence all year long!
We make the tally marks for our number of the day.
Next, is greater than less than. For this skill we do it several ways to provide differentiation. First we write the number of the day and determine a number greater and a number less. Later in the year we will use numbers to 100 and determine greater/less. We also use this for working on 1 more or 1 less.
Finally we have counting on and counting back! The students count while the boss of the day writes the numbers!
Do you want to see our calendar time in action? Check out these two videos. The first video is at the beginning of the year where we are just starting calendar. The second video is later in the year where we have all of the pieces in the calendar and our calendar routine is strong!
Prior to having an interactive white board, we printed and laminated the calendar pieces and used a dry erase marker to fill in the calendar.
Are you looking for an interactive calendar? Our calendar resource is available in 4 themes: generic/plain, mustache, monsters and candy! Each of these includes a PDF version and the image slides that can be imported into any interactive whiteboard software. (NOTE: all boards and software are different so the process of importing the images or PDF into your software will vary!)
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