Saturday, 11 August 2012

Calendar Routine and Journal

I really enjoy calendar time. You go through so many skills in such a short amount of time. And the great thing is that you can add new things as you go! At the beginning of the year we work on counting to 30 and skip counting by 10s. Then as the year goes on, we work on counting to 100, counting backwards, skip counting by 5s, and skip counting by 2s. We hit patterns, tally marks, graphing, place value... So much to learn!

I thought I would give you a peek into my daily math calendar routine. {Note: Most pictures are from last year... boo! Can't wait to get into my new classroom and get my new calendar set up!}

So I don't do classroom jobs in my rooom... Too much to organize! I just have one special student of the day--my star of the day. This person gets to be the line leader, helps me pass things out, and does the calendar for us! As the star is doing the calendar wall, all the other students are working in their calendar journals. This way, everyone is engaged and working! :)

First up is the calendar. I use this pocket chart calendar with the Poppin' Patterns months and numbers. Love them!! Each month of numbers is a different pattern and they just have the cutest graphics! **Fun tip** I put all the calendar pieces in the pocket chart at the beginning of the month, flipped around, so that each day the star just has to flip the number over. We don't have to search the room for that missing number! It works perfectly.

I also made these little cards that I put in the pockets for holidays and special events. At the beginning of each month we go over all the upcoming events! It's very exciting when the kids start counting down fun things, like Valentine's Day and Field Trips! Here's a picture of a few of my cards:

If you could use these cards, click {here} to download them. If you would like a blank template to make your own, click {here}. It's a PowerPoint document. The font I used is called "Wish I Were Here" and can be downloaded from Kevin & Amanda here. You just need to change the words and add your own clipart.

As we flip over the number each day, we talk about the pattern that the pictures make. We write on this little white board the letter name for the pattern (AB, ABC, etc.). At the start of the month we make predictions as to what we think will come next. I write it on the board as a dotted letter, so we can check our prediction the next day! I usually have the star of the day think of a way to represent the pattern with our body. For example, an ABC pattern might go stomp, clap, snap, stomp, clap, snap. It's a fun way to get our bodies moving!

Next we keep a tally mark chart of how many school days are in the month. This chart is laminated so I can just erase each month and start new.

Then we change the yesterday, today, and tomorrow cards in this mini pocket chart, and the star looks out the window and decides the weather. We put a weather card under the date and colour in a spot on the laminated weather report graph. At the end of the month we look at the graph and decide which weather was the most and which was the fewest.

Next we do a few activities to count how many days we have been in school. We add a straw to our pocket chart. When we get to ten, we bundle it up and move it to the tens spot. This is great for reinforcing place value. We also count the straws. We count the bundles of ten first, then the ones.

The star adds a number to our 100 chart. We usually practice counting up to the number as well.

Last year we added a bump to our caterpillar every day. He was one long caterpillar by day 182!! I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year, I'm still thinking on it...

And lastly we add a dot to our ten frame. Last year I had paper ten frames and the kids added a dot with bingo dabbers. This was fun, but a little messy. Especially those little lovelies who have to press the dabber extremely hard when I'm not looking, so the ink drips down the page... Fantastic! So I updated my ten frames to be cute and colourful and laminated! I also created this little poster to go with it. The star will colour a dot on the ten frame with a dry erase marker and write how many tens and ones the number has. More place value practice!

I also updated my birthday chart. I have some cute mini cupcake stickers I'm going to stick on here once I get my birthday list. For now, I just drew a few smilies on it.

We also keep track of any teeth that are lost with a tally chart. This can be erased each month.

So here's a peek at my journals. {Remember: no school access, so I can't photocopy and bind yet... Just giving you an example here!} I print the covers on bright coloured cardstock and bind them at the top with a plastic comb coil.

Inside the cover is a days of the week/months helper page. We sometimes practice reading these or chanting them. The first page is "How Many Days Have We Been in School?" The students colour in their ten frames here when the star is doing the ten frames on the calendar wall.

Next is "Let's Count the Days of School..." where the students write a number each day, when the star writes the number on the caterpillar or adds the number to the 100 chart.

And then I have the monthly calendars and weather graphs. I make it so the calendar is at the top and the weather report is at the bottom when I bind them together. I start the year off by having dotted numbers in the calendar, but we work our way to blank calendars where students have to write their own numbers. We write the number, colour in the pattern, and make a tally mark. At the end of the month we also write what the monthly pattern is, how many days in the month, and how many school days in the month. We colour in the weather graph, tally any lost teeth, and record our friends' birthdays.

If you are interested in starting your own calendar journal, I've included my journals with matching posters in this pack on TpT. You can check it by clicking this picture:

In this pack you will get: journal cover (two options), days of the week/months helper page, ten frame page, number writing page, 12 dotted number calendars, 12 black calendars, and 12 weather reports.

You will also get ten frame posters (large and small size) with place value poster, tooth chart, tally chart, birthday graph, and weather report.

I can't wait to get my calendar all set up! Do you enjoy calendar as much as I do?

Don't forget tomorrow is the big TpT back to school sale!! Check out my link to see the amazing teachers that are having sales in their store! You can get as much as 28% off! Don't forget to use the promo code BTS12 at checkout. Click the button below to link up if you haven't yet!


  1. Very helpful post. My calendar wall is up since the students come on Wednesday but after reading your post I may be tweeking it. Thanks.

  2. I know this is delayed, but I'm switching to 1st grade and trying to get calendar ideas! With the ten frames, what do you do when you get into higher numbered days of school? Do you add more ten frames, or just always have that filled one and another with the ones?

    1. I have done it two ways in the past.... one year I had space to put up 20 ten frames, so they could stay up all year long. Another year I had less space, so I put up 10 ten frames. When we got to 100 day, we erased the ten frames and started again. I think either way worked fine. If you have the space though. it's kind of neat to see all the ten frames coloured in! :)