Like every other teacher out there, I can’t wait for summer vacation. I have had such a good time snuggling with my littles! I have also loved having the time to read up on new resource books and blogs so I can be best prepared for next year. This week the Summer Linky party is about calendar, and I was so excited to participate to get some new ideas.
I love calendar time. I feel like it is such a fabulous teaching tool that often gets overlooked in the time crunch. However, so many of our standards can be taught simply by teaching calendar. I am loving this linky party to look at to plan for my kindergarten calendar block.
In second and third grade, my students completed Daily 5 centers for morning work. I loved the quiet calmness that this time provided as students came into the classroom. When I was ready to call my kiddos together to start our day, I simply rang our chime bells. I purchased these from amazon. (Click the picture for the link)
My kids automatically started picking up their center, making their way to our calendar carpet. I started my calendar block with a story, either seasonal or one that followed our science and social studies themes. Some days I would finish the story, some days we would only read part of it. Once that was complete, I would talk about the date. We would write the date in many formats, working with abbreviations. Then, we would talk about days left and days used. I had two place value pocket charts. Each day, we would move a straw from days left into the days used pocket chart. We would also subtract the days (178 days total- days in school so far= days left). It was an easy way to review subtraction with regrouping daily. We would also graph our weather each day.
During calendar, my class had a morning message each day. Before students arrived, I would compose a message for students. Many times this message contained information about our day. Then, during our calendar block we would find the nouns, verbs, or adjectives, talk about spacing, look for different phonics skills, etc. Each day we would find something different in our message. I would change it up based on our common core standards and our teaching points for the week.
The last part of our calendar block was our MIMAL map, which was my kiddos favorite part of our day. They would BEG me to tell them more. I use the MIMAL map (MIMAL is an elf who lives in the middle of the United States) to help students identify the states. Too many of our kids have NO CLUE where they live. They might know they live in Georgia, but when you ask them to point to Georgia you get the ‘somewhere in the middle’ response. For the past 4 years, each of my kids have left my room knowing the name and location of every state. That is such an important lesson that too many of our kids miss out on.
So… What do you think is a MUST have for a kindergarten classroom calendar block? <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/8782873/?claim=62shn7akntx">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>