One of my favorite times of the school day is calendar time. There are so many skills you can work on during this special time. It also provides a consistent routine to start the day. Today I am excited to share some of my favorite calendar time tips and activities.
Make Calendar Time Engaging
Over the years my calendar time has looked different. When I first started teaching these changes stemmed from a common problem – keeping the students engaged. The activities were great, but for the most part only one student was actively involved at a time.
I’ll spare you the attempts that didn’t last and just fast forward you to the activity that made all the difference. Individual student calendar notebooks to the rescue! Now every student can complete the calendar activities at the same time. And since they have something to actively do, they feel a part of the lesson and are engaged in learning.
Inside each calendar notebook (it totally doesn’t have to be in a notebook – a journal or stapled pages works great too) is a page that is similar to the activity we do on the class calendar.
Each month starts off with poem for the month. When I write the poems I am intentional to include the month, its spelling, the number of days on the month and some holidays or activities that are common to the month. We read the poem together everyday and the students really love it! In fact, there is an excitement on the first day of the new month as we reveal the new poem.
In addition to the poem, each student has their own monthly calendar. I like to use a calendar with traceable numbers so that the students can write in the number each day.
You can grab this monthly calendar activity in the Emily Education store. This resource includes the monthly poem and 4 different calendar options. AND . . . you get a printable and 2 digital versions (SeeSaw and Google options). So no matter whether you are meeting with your students in person or virtually, you can engaged them in the daily calendar time.
Use Songs and Chants
If there is something that primary kids love it is singing, chanting and dancing. So why not incorporate them into the calendar time. There are so many great calendar time songs. Using songs and chants you can learn the days of the week, the months of the year, both in a variety of languages, weather, and so much more.
When I say so many option, I mean like you can scroll and scroll and scroll some more through search results on Google or You Tube. So, to save you some time, I’m linking up some of my favorite calendar songs and videos:
- Months of the Year Line Dance by Jack Hartmann
- 12 Months in a Year by Harry Kindergarten
- 12 Months of the Year in English and Spanish by Patty Shukla
- 7 Days of the Week by The Learning Station
- Days of the Week with Chica & Carly by Peacock Jr.
- Days of the Week by Pinkfong!
- What’ the Weather? by Music With Nancy
- Check out the Weather by Harry Kindergarten
- Weather Song by Dr. Jean
- The 4 Seasons Song by Jack Hartmann
I also love having some type of Good Morning song or a class theme song that we sing. “Have a Good Morning” by Jack Hartmann is a great song if you are social distancing or virtual teaching because it doesn’t require any direct contact with other students.
Build in Review
In addition to the typical calendar time skills (days, months, counting the days, seasons, weather, etc.) this together time is also a great way to build in review of other skills the students have been learning. It helps students see that these skills are part of everyday life and not just used in isolation during school.
For example, if you sing songs, use a video with the words or a poster with the words. Before or after singing, use the words to find sight words the students have learned, count syllables of words, or even identify letters and sounds. Make reading the word wall part of the calendar time routine or have students circle words, letters, or sounds on their calendar month poem.
Incorporating math skills like money, counting to 100 and telling time also fit nicely into calendar time. As you introduce the day, build the number using place value blocks, tally marks and coins. Practice counting to 100 everyday using a song or video like this one. Incorporate patterns using two or three different calendar number styles. Use simple addition and subtraction to make the number for the day.
Take Calendar Concepts Out of Calendar Time
Traditional calendar concepts like days of the week and months of the year don’t have to stay in calendar time. Students can review these concepts during centers, read-alouds, or hands-on activities like this cute craft.
This adorable Cookie’s Week craft reviews the days of the week and goes along with a delightful read aloud called “Cookie’s Week” by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola. Not only does this activity review the days of the week, but it also works on reading comprehension skills too as students remember the trouble that Cookie got into throughout the week.
Save these Calendar Time Ideas
I hope you found some new ideas to make your calendar time fun and engaging for your students. Save these ideas by pinning this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board.