After being asked this exactly 329 times, I decided our first graders really needed to have a solid understanding of the Calendar and all its components. It is not that I hadn’t tried. I had tried teaching them with many variations, including a standard calendar. I never realized how foreign that can seem until I thought about how strange it might look to little ones.
I decided to check out the plethora of free resources and ideas in the cyber world, and there was no lack of links there. After carefully considering this very popular post, I decided a hands-on approach is exactly what my students needed as well.
I had fully intended to just use her ideas and freebies she shares so freely, but I didn’t have everything I needed to make the board and I didn’t have the wall space needed. So I thought some more and looked through what I did have on hand.
I love to repurpose, and I love to create so it was really a win-win!
I came up with the idea to use Page Protectors easily as it was what I had in my stash of “I can’t throw this out because I just know I’ll find a use for it someday” resources.
I found the time to sit down at the computer and create what came together rather effortlessly. Sometimes an idea and the implementation of it just come together. Don’t you love it when it works out that way!
The learning curve was not steep, and our first graders took to this new system quickly, actually beginning in their kindergarten year. Within the first week, they were already reciting the days of the week and waking up saying, “Today is … Wednesday!” They were so proud of their success!
I recently updated the file to include 4 counting card sets: ten frames, base tens and ones (counting by 10s and 1s), tally marks (counting by 5s) and coins (to encourage learning coin values for penny, nickel, dime and quarter). I encourage my students to at least fill one of their 9 pockets with a counting card to represent the numerical day (1-31).
Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of this resource is the possibilities for differentiation. The resource includes more than 9 different types of cards, so you can pick and choose which ones will work best for your students. I am always adding to this resource each year as well as my own students’ learning goals change.
I found some other useful resources that helped us as we worked on Calendar Time. I hope you find some of them helpful too as these links are all FREE!
http://simplycharlottemason.com/store/manuscript-copywork/ *You have to add to cart and download whole packet which is new, but it is free and the one titled “The Months” is very helpful and a free resource of copywork of an old poem written by Sara Coleridge. You can find the words on-line in many places as well.
If you are interested in more details, you can find my Build•A•Calendar resource by clicking on the image below.