Calendar is an important part of the daily routine in my classroom. I have found that some people think it is a waste of time, but I believe you can get a lot of bang for your buck in a short period of time. This is further discussed in my reflection.
In my classroom, calendar is where we meet each morning. I begin teaching my students the calendar routine on the first full day of school. I have a magnetic calendar, which I love! I purchased the calendar at Lakeshore Learning. We complete all areas of the calendar together- month, day of the week, year, season, and weather. At the beginning of the year, I will complete the calendar, modeling for my students. As the year progresses, students gradually take parts of calendar time over, until eventually completing the entire 15 minutes independently. By the end of the year, I am only observing, and stepping in when necessary.
After we complete the actual calendar, we count the days in school. Hitting the 100th day of school in Kindergarten is something the students anxiously look forward to! I have a pocket chart that we use to keep track. Within the pocket chart, are straws that are arranged by ones, tens, and hundreds, which becomes a place value lesson within itself everyday.
Once we count the days in school, we underline that numeral on a number chart I have displayed next to the calendar. Students must recognize the numeral in order to underline it.
We wrap up by doing some good old fashioned counting. At the beginning of the year, we simply count from 1-100. I have a cd by Jack Hartmann that we exercise to while counting, The song is titled, Let's Get Fit. I have included a YouTube video if you are not familiar with the song.
By December, I have introduced the concept of counting by 10's. We replace counting to 100, with counting by 10's. I have students complete jumping jacks as they count. I am a firm believer in movement within the classroom, so we never just sit and count. I believe the movement helps my children to remember content. In this case, I have found that often times when I am testing a child on counting, they will count in the beat or harmony that we do during calendar time, so I know it is helping!
By springtime, we have moved on to counting by 5's. Students snap their fingers as they count by 5's to 100.
I have included some student video and bits and pieces of calendar time throughout our year to try and give you a clearer picture of this 15 minute block. These are all located within the resource section.