Saturday, June 17, 2017

My favorite part of the day...and three awesome FREEBIES!

Hey there!

I'm writing today about one of my favorite parts of my daily schedule- Calendar!!  It is so much more than just days of the week and months of the year; I am able to pack so much math into Calendar time, and it's a huge benefit for my students and their learning!

I'll start with a picture of my Calendar set up and then go into lots of detail about it all!

My set up doesn't look like this every year (depends on what my classroom space looks like), but I do always include a monthly calendar board, a 120 chart, and my two Calendar math posters.  I made them several years back when I had a student teacher.  During her 'Total Teach' time, I had to spend time out of the classroom so she could be in charge.  I did a lot of work for the school and my team, and also got to make my awesome posters!!  I also have a digital version of these posters in my store.  Check it out here!

I am about to overwhelm you with Calendar Math Madness!  Please know that the routine does not look like this on Day 1 in August, and there are plenty of days where things happen and we have to squish down our calendar time.  It takes time to build up to the full routine and I have seen the benefits of doing every day, barring those crazy times where Picture Day and Career Week and Field Trip all collide!!  I know you have those days, too!  I also like to build up to the point where the students take over all or part of the routine, but #realtalk there are plenty of days where I do all the writing, but they are still doing all the thinking!!

I always start my monthly calendar board with the numbers flipped backwards.  When it's time to start our routine, I point to the previously turned over card and say, "I can see that yesterday was Monday, August, 22nd, 2016.  Who can help me with today?"  I call on a student and they say the whole date correctly: Day, Month, Date, Year.  We talk about all these pieces and the importance of each one.  After we really know the routine, I start using popsicle sticks to call on kids so that everyone has to participate!  If they get stuck, I point to the days of the week at the top of the calendar to guide them, thinking out loud, "Well, if yesterday was Monday, then today must be..."  I might give them clues on the actual calendar board, so that they can see the patterns developing.  It is so important to show them that even as the month goes on, they can trace their finger up to the top of the calendar to see the day of the week.  Then we write the correct date and read it together.

At the beginning of the year, we sing the Days of the Week song every day.  (My favorite is the Adams Family version with the snapping!)  They get pretty good at that.  Then I call on someone to help fill in the "Today is...  Yesterday was...  Tomorrow will be..." spots.  We know what today is because we just found it when we recorded the date.  So I say, "Ok, Roman just told us that today is Monday, can anyone help me with the rest?"  Then I might point to the day if they needed help, but I usually have someone ready to answer that one!  I like to talk about how yesterday is the past, so you have to move back one day on the calendar to find it.  Tomorrow is the future and you have to move forward one day on the calendar to find it.  Then we record it on the chart and say the chant altogether- "Yesterday was Sunday, today is Monday, tomorrow will be Tuesday!"

Next, we check the weather, just by either looking out the window or having them remember what it was like when they got off the bus or out of their car in the morning.  We have a quick discussion about it, and I draw a symbol and write a couple of weather words.  We get into more details when we start the study weather in Science, but for this it's pretty basic.

Next up is always the place value chart for Number of the Day.  We keep track of how many days we've been in school through place value, so I made a spot on my posters with a column for Hundreds, Tens, and Ones.  I have plastic base ten blocks with blue sticky tack on the back.  Each day we add a block to the ones column.  I make a big deal out of it when it gets close to 10.  I over-exaggerate that 10 ones don't fit in the ones column and gesture like my hand can't stick it on there and say, "What am I supposed to do?  What happens now?" and they get excited and yell, It makes a stick of ten!!"  I peel the ones blocks off one by one and we count to ten.  Then we add the tens rod to the tens column and record the number underneath the chart.  We do this every day, because place value is such an important part of number sense.  This is also where I tie in even and odd.  I remind them that the always need to start by looking at the ones column.  If they can make partners with the cubes, then it is even.  If there is one left over, it is odd.  We have an even and off chant that we say as well.  "0, 2, 4, 6, 8, Even numbers are really great!  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, Odd numbers are really fine!"  (There's a version of this from Ron Brown, his Math Song CDs are AWESOME!)  Every time I call on someone to tell me whether it is even or odd, I always ask them how they know.  They might say things like, "Well, I know that 8 is even so 28 has to be even." or "Yesterday was odd, so today is even."  They might say it was even because they saw partners or odd because there was one cube left over.  These are all things we talk about each day so that they understand even and odd.

 Once we get the Number of the Day, we add it to the Standard Form spot and the Word Form spot.  As I am writing, I say things like, "Who can help me spell six?" or "Thirty eight?  Let's spell eight together." to keep them involved as I am doing it.

Next we add a tally to the tally chart.  We always talk about what to do when we have 4 tallies (cross it!!) and then we count by 5s up to the number of the day.  Sometimes I might circle two sets of tallies together and show them that it is ten so that we can skip count by tens.

Next up is using the 120 chart to count.  I circle the Number of the Day (how many days we've been in school) and I ask them to find the number that is One More and One Less, and then Ten More and Ten Less.  This takes practice for them to understand.  We circle or box in the numbers and it ends up looking like a plus sign with those five numbers in in.  The whole time I am training them to move horizontally when it is ones and vertically when it is tens.  I have signs above and next to my door with those words on them and we talk about what they mean and use hand signals.  We say "Horizontal!" and move our hands side to side, and say "Vertical!" and move our hands up and down.  After awhile I start showing them that when they are doing One More or One Less, the only number that changes is in the ones column (55 changes to 54 and 56, but the tens always stays as 5 tens).  I also show them that when they are doing Ten More or Ten Less, the only number that changes is in the tens column.  We trace up and down the chart to see that 77 changes to 67 and 87, but the 7 doesn't change.  We circle the numbers and sometimes underline the ones column in red so they can really see how it doesn't change!
I apologize for the graininess of this screenshot, but I wanted to show the "plus sign" of the 5 numbers for One More, One Less, Ten More, Ten Less.
I also included coins, a clock, and a piggy bank on my posters, but we don't hit those every day  For money, we review the values of each coin and/or talk about the images on the front and back. We sing the money chant as well, "A penny is one cent, a nickel is five.   A dime is ten cents, a quarter 25!"  For the shapes, I point out a couple shapes and go over different things each time.  I might show them that you can find 2D shapes on the faces of 3D shapes.  We might talk about some real life items that match our 3D shapes.  I might ask them to come up and count sides and vertices of the 2D shapes.  For the clock, we usually would pick a time from our schedule (recess, lunch, Specials) and write that in the digital box and then talk about how it would look on the analog clock.

For the piggy bank, I have coins with sticky tack on them so that we could do a variety of things with the coins.  We might show the number of the day in coins, or show two different ways to make a dollar.

Overall, I just judge how much time we have that day and fit in what I need to.  We also have lots of songs and chants, and I'm sure you have your favorites too!

To do more with counting and number sense, I have a large 120 chart and I have a helper come up so we can practice skip counting.  I have popsicle sticks with three different pictures on them to demonstrate the different ways to skip count.  For 2s, there is a frog because we hop over the next number when we skip count by 2s.  For 5s, there is a zig zag because we zig zag across the chart when we count by 5s.  We even sway back and forth while we are counting to exaggerate the zig zag.  For 10s, there is a person because you walk up and down the chart when you count by 10s.

It takes time to build up the whole routine and it's all about building number sense with repetition and having those great daily math conversations!!

I hope this post has been helpful and I would love to hear from you in the comments!!  Do you love calendar too??  To thank you for sticking with me through this lengthy post, I have some calendar freebies I'd love to share with you!  Just click on the pictures below to download the freebies from my TPT store.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!