Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Calendar and Problem Solving

This is my favorite time of the day! Calendar and problem solving is also my students favorite time of the day! It's just perfect! ;)

I just finished my calendar time unit that will help you implement calendar in your classroom along with the resources to make a calendar and problem solving binder for your students. It even includes all the parts for display! It's a great unit if I say so myself :)

Every morning I prepare our calendar area so that when the students come into the classroom they can immediately get started on their calendar binder. Now of course at the beginning of the year the students do not do calendar independently and their morning work will consist of a word search or fun activity. Once I've introduced every part of calendar and number of the day, then my students morning work becomes their calendar binder.

Here is a picture of my calendar area. Does yours look similar? Every part of our calendar we address during "number of the day".
Students work on their "number of the day" sheet and also fill out their how many days in school, tally sheet, calendar and weather graph. Take a peek at what they look like. I know that everyone's "number of the day" sheet may look different, but this has been the best way for me and my kids. I have changed it year after year, but this has been my favorite.

Along with the calendar is a monthly word wall and area for students to draw a picture of what that month makes them think of! Who doesn't love to draw?! :)

After announcements, the students know to move to the carpet with their binder and we go over it together. This allows students who are done to share and for those students who aren't done, they can continue filling it out as we do it together.

You may think writing the days of the week and the date day after day is redundant, and it totally is! BUT they will know how to spell the days of the week and the months of the year by the end of the school year! You also may want to pull your hair out because it'll take some of your kids FOREVER to fill out their number of the day, but you have to keep the end in sight because they will shock you! By the end of the year they will be masters at this! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!

Once we go over "number of the day" we flip over the page and our "problem of the day" is waiting for us! I read the problem and let the students think. No one is allowed to come ask questions. They need time to think! It's so important. Once they solve it, they come and show me the answer. If it's correct, they go and stand anywhere in the classroom silently. If the answer isn't correct, I tell them to go try again.

After most of the students have gotten the answer and are standing around the room, I will turn on music and the students will begin walking around the room and mixing up! When the music stops, they pair up with the person closest to them and they each share their answer and HOW they got their answer. Then they put their calendar binder away and come sit at the carpet silently.

The students who were not standing when the music began are sitting with me. When the music goes off, those students meet with me and we go over the problem together. This is a great opportunity to do a quick one minute mini lesson on the problem. Once we have gone over the problem, they put up their binder and come to the carpet as well.

Then as a whole class, I have the students share the different ways they solved the problem. They are always so shocked that they have come up with the same answers but have solved them differently. Amazing how that happens!!!

Everything you need to implement a calendar area and calendar/problem solving calendar is in this packet! I have even included 152 problems for you to use throughout the year. All you have to do is print, cut, paste, and copy into weekly sets for your students binders! I hope that you can use it in your classroom.
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  1. What a great way to experience calendar time! It's already in my TpT wishlist.

    1. They really do love calendar time! I'm glad it's on your wishlist! It'll be perfect to pick up during the "back to school" sale in August!


  2. I love your calendar routine. It sounds like it engages everyone. I'm eager to try it with my busy kiddos.


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