I {Heart} My Calendar Board!!

Let me just start off by saying this: You know you're a teacher when you're out for a walk and spontaneously decide to collect a bunch of fallen pine cones off the ground because you know you can use them to teach adjectives.  True story, by they way.  Moving on!

Today, I'm going to share with you my calendar board.  As I mentioned in my reveal, this board gets used every day.  I know that not all second grade teachers do calendar time.  I'm not judging them, and I hope they don't judge me, but I love calendar time and I will never give up the 10ish minutes we spend on it daily!  We use "calendar" every day to kick off our daily math block and to practice and reinforce a variety of math skills.

Here is a picture of the board.

This is the middle of the board.  We use these components first during our calendar time.

The Calendar: while Common Core does not identify actual calendar reading skills, I still cover it each day because it is a life skill that cannot be overlooked.  It takes less than 1 minute to read the date on the calendar.  I usually have a volunteer tell us what the current day's date.  For example, a student would say, "Today is Monday, August 20, 2012."  Then, I might ask volunteers to tell us what yesterday's date was, what tomorrow's date will be, or even what the date was 1 week ago.  Again, this takes less than a minute.

Clock: We look at the analog clock, determine the time, and then write the digital form of the time. I have a volunteer tell us the time and how to write the digital time. I also give scenarios and have the students tell me if it is a.m. or p.m. (once this skill has been taught).  For instance, I might say, "If it's 10:30 and we're in the middle of a math lesson, is it a.m. or p.m.?") and then we add that label to the digital time.

Straw Chart (yellow pocket chart): Each day we add a straw to this chart, starting in the ones place.  When we collect 10 straws, we bundle them and move them to the tens place.  This little chart is a great way to introduce and reinforce place value.  As part of this activity, I always lead a brief discussion about the value of each place ("How many tens do we have?"  "What is the value of five tens?").

Expanded Form Chart (below the yellow chart): This little chart sits below the straw chart, because each day we will write the number modeled in the chart in expanded form.  Rather than deal with dry erase markers (which never erase perfectly), I use numbers on rings.  I simply flip the numbers as told to by the students.

Tally Marks (below the expanded form chart): tally marks are one way of modeling numbers.  Yes, they learn about tally marks in first grade, but I can tell you that doesn't always mean they have mastered the skill of writing a number using tally marks and/or counting tally marks.  Each day we will add one tally mark to our chart.  After we add the current day's tally mark, we count all the marks.

This is the right side of the calendar board.  We use this component after the ones described above:

Fact Family Chart: This handy dandy chart from Lakeshore helps us regularly practice related math facts.  Students will learn early on what a fact family is and get repeated exposure to this skill.  This might seem a bit redundant, but when I hear from third grade teachers that their kids don't know what a fact family is I know this chart needs to be used every. single. day.  Once we set up the fact family together, we clap and chant it.  I usually leave the same family up for a few days at a time.

This is the left side of the calendar, we do this side last.

100 Chart: I use the 100 chart for lots of things including skip counting practice, identifying even and odd numbers, adding 10/subtracting 10, and adding 1/subtracting 1. You can download those even/odd posters for free. Just click HERE

Money Chart (velcro chart): Prior to Common Core my students had a decent amount of experience with money.  As such, I used to post a specific amount of money and the kids would think of different ways to make that amount.  We would show each amount on the chart and practice counting the combination of coins.  However, things have changed with Common Core.  So, I am actually going to use this chart differently.  I am going to add a penny to the chart each day.  When we get five pennies, we'll trade them for a nickel.  When we get five more pennies, we'll trade it for a nickel.  Then, we'll trade the two nickels for a dime.  I think you get it.  This will be a quick and easy way to expose my students to money from the get go as it will familiarize them with the coins and their values.

The last thing we do are our cross crawls.  This isn't on the board, it's a movement activity.  I found out about this fun counting activity in a video on You Tube.  It comes from a whole brain classroom and I love it.  So do the kids! Last year when I first tried it out I wasn't sure that they were loving them because they kind of acted like it was silly.  So, I decided to skip it one day and they were complaining that we didn't do them! 

That's how I do calendar in my room.  It is full of good math and it can be done quickly.  I'm sure that reading this post you're thinking that I'm crazy, but seriously folks, I spend 10-12 minutes on it-tops!  Do you use a calendar board in your classroom?

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  1. Really like your calendar and ideas you've shared. I use my smartboard for calendar. I'll have to check out the video.

  2. I like your calendar too. Thanks for the descriptions.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. I do calendar time...kind of! I don't actually have a calendar this year, but I still call it calendar time.... I use the time to review the same kinds of skills you do. Btw, I did not make those pom-poms hanging in my room. I bought them from Hobby Lobby. :)

    Krazy About Kiddos

  4. Oh my goodness! You have such a charming and welcoming classroom ... Others can only dream...
    I get to decorate my hubbies 2nd grade classroom and I shall be copying your ideas. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. PS. About your 'boring' chair.... I've seen some darling chairs here on Pinterest If you can get a wooden one and paint it crazy colors ( polka dots for you, I think) it would look fab in your room. If not, maybe make a chair cover/ cushion in some cute design. You are so talented and inspiring.

  6. I LOVE your Calendar board and explanation of everything. I am so excited to put one together for my second graders this year!! I didn't do Calendar Time last year because I thought it wouldn't benefit my second graders that much...however, after reading your blog post and others' I've realized I can bump it up a little bit to help them (like including time and money). Thank you SO much for the great ideas!!! :)

    Sun, Sand & Second Grade


I'd love to hear what you have to say!