KinderGals: Morning Circle Time-Calendar

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Morning Circle Time-Calendar

How does Calendar Time fit into an already jam-packed kindergarten day? Why is the calendar even important? Is the calendar a standard?  This blog post answers all of those questions and more!
At one time, I hated doing the calendar. The proof...It would be May and my March calendar was still displayed! When the days got busy, it was the first thing I would cross off. But, not anymore! That's because I started using a Student Calendar Notebook.
We store our Calendar Notebooks in our Carpet Bags with our other carpet supplies. You can read more about that here.
By having them in the carpet bag, they are easy to get out and easy to put away.
We use the Student Calendar Notebook as a way to measure engagement. It is easy to see when the children are engaged. No more sitting and watching while ONE child does the calendar!
We begin with the traditional calendar displayed on the wall. The classroom calendar is used to model what the children should do in their notebooks. Here are some of the calendar pages that we use each day.
How Many Days Have We Been In School?
Each day of school we add a paper clip to our chart. We start by adding clips to the ones column. Once we have ten, we move that chain to the tens column and begin a new ones column. There is a small post it note pad in each column. We write the number of ones and how many sets of 10 to build our number of the day.
 We can do the same thing in the pocket chart with straws.

 After we add the straw or clip, we write the numeral for our chart. Each day we add the next numeral as we are building a 100's chart.
Each day, the kids trace the numeral on the page for the first 50 days. Then, they write the numerals themselves.
For each part of the calendar we developed a set of questions.  We made ourselves a little flip book with each part of the calendar and the questions we could ask. Instead of skimming over all of the pages with time to only ask a few questions, we concentrate our questions on just a few pages each day.  So, while we do all the pages each day, once they are introduced, we only go deeply with good questions on a few of those pages. Each day we select different parts of the calendar to ask these questions.
Monthly Grid
Another page in the student calendar notebook is the monthly grid. Our kids make the pieces for the calendar each month. At the end of the previous month, we make them for morning work. Each child makes all 3 pieces. Then, I select pieces to make the pattern being careful to include pieces from each child.  (We use all of the pieces in our memory book.)
This is what the student monthly grid looks like. We keep it blank. The children fill in the month at the top and write in the dates.
Here is one that has actually been filled in.
And here is a sample of the questions we could ask for this page.  In our curriculum, we also developed activities for each page!

Write the Date
The children each have a page in their calendar notebook to write the numerical representation of the word. 
Some of the photos in this post are from the older version of the calendar notebook. Shari and I updated the unit. This picture shows the updated version of the write the date page.
And here are some of the questions included in using this page.
Domino Page
 Each day as part of the calendar, we select a domino from our domino bag.  Throughout the year, we change what we are doing with the domino. Here are a few examples:
 The children draw the domino on their page in the student calendar notebook.  I can then ask questions to have the children compare the sides, combine the sides, etc.

 We can also record using a combination of dots and numerals. Here the children wrote the numeral to represent the largest set, then they drew dots to represent the other set. This is a great way to practice addition, counting on, comparing, etc.
 We also have other activities for the domino page. Here are a few of them that are included in our curriculum.
 These are just a few pages from our Student Calendar Notebook. These ideas are from this unit.

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Kathleen said...

Yep, those are mine! Love the essential questions -- those aren't in the calendar pack are they?

Kim and Megan said...

The essential questions are not in the calendar notebook. Thanks for clearing that up! If I can find them on my computer, I will put them as a free download! By the way Kathleen, I miss you! :(

Busy Bees said...

Thanks for sharing your calendar notebook. I would love to see the essential questions, too. You girls are amazing!! BTW I figured out tonight how to make my posts as classy as yours are by the directions you gave me the other day. Can't wait to make a post tomorrow after I take more pictures!!

Kim and Megan said...

Robynn! I can't wait to see if! I don't know if it takes longer to make them in power point or not because this is the only way I know! I'm looking fo the essential questions!

Beadboard said...

I love all the ideas with calendar. This may have been covered somewhere before, but teachers doing smartboard calendar & student calendar you ladies post & use a big calendar wall display as well, or does the smartboard & s.c.n. take the place of that? I know those set ups are adorable, but I can give mine up for space...unless it is used during morning activities as well. Thank you for clarifications with this.

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