As I was sitting down to hammer out my schedule for this year, I have to admit I was feeling a little dread! It is so hard to cram everything into one day. I teach a full day Kindergarten program but our students only go to school three days a week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Because of that I put a lot of pressure on my self to make every minute count. When looking at my schedule there are a handful of things that I just won’t sacrifice and time for “Daily Calendar” is one of those! For my Math Block I have 50 minutes. I break it up into four sections:
Calendar Time – 10 minutes
Mini – Lesson – 10 minutes
Centers – 25 minutes
Share – 5 minutes
During Calendar Time we do 5 steps each and every day.
First, we identify the “Day”. Every day we count the days so far in the current month and then put the “numeral day card” on the calendar. Then we follow the column up and read the day of the week. Together we sing our days of the week song and then fill in our “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” chart. We also make predictions for what we think the weather will be during the day.
Next, we count and see what “Day of Kindergarten” we are on. Depending on the time of year, I use this activity to practice, counting, counting on, and then eventually counting by tens, fives and twos. Teaching only three days a week it takes almost all year to get to 100 but we get there and have a fun celebration!
Then, we move on to our “Shape of the Month”. Each month we focus on one shape that we learn about by singing a song. I found these adorable shape posters and songs from “Miss Kindergarten‘s” Blog! You can download them here.
After shapes, we move on to “Sky Numbers” or number formation. Our school uses Saxon math and like any “boxed” curriculum there are things I love and things I don’t. One of the things I love is their little songs on how to form each number. We practice “sky writing” each of the numbers as we “write” them in the air. To keep things fresh we sing our songs in different voices like a whisper, baby voice, British voice, etc… You get the idea. At the beginning of the year I slowly introduce a new number every few days so it isn’t overwhelming.
Lastly, I challenge the kiddos with our “Question of the Day”. Here we review a concept that we have been recently working on. I read the question, give my students a few minutes to come up with an answer with their partners and then we talk. This is a great way to bring a higher level of thinking into our Calendar Time!
Well there you have it. A break down of my calendar time that provides my students with great math skills every day. Schedules can get crazy but I believe that this is time well spent! How do you teach Math in your classrooms? Do you interact with your calendar every day?