Saturday, July 4, 2015

Calendar Questions

One of my goals for next school year is to help my students develop a sense of community. I would love to have a more student-centered classroom. I want to see my little learners work together collaboratively without all of the arguing, tattling and hurt feelings that often occured when we tried to work together in the past.

I have decided to start my day with a morning meeting.  I have used morning message before, and we've had informal discussions or sharing time to start the day, but I really want to have more thoughtful discussions with a more planned out agenda.  I am anxiously awaiting this book to help me learn more about establishing these routines for next year.

But the big question now is "What about calendar time?"  A calendar routine has been part of my day since I started teaching first grade in 1987!  From Math Their Way routines, Every Day Counts and my current Smart board version, I have started my day with some sort of calendar session.  During my first few years in first grade, we taught math in the morning, and calendar time led right in to our math lesson for the day.  Even when we started teaching language arts in the morning, we still started our day with calendar.

I love calendar time!  I love the songs, the math talk and the interactive parts of the routine.  But I have noticed that sometimes it runs too long and the kids get antsy.  I've tried to cut back some and added a few movement activities- love Go Noodel!- but asking students to sit through calendar AND a morning meeting would be too much.  I also wonder if I am holding on to a practice that is no longer beneficial simply because I've always done it and I think it's fun.
So here are the options I've come up with:

  • Use a calendar notebook/binder and have students complete calendar activities independently (I'm intrigued by Reagan Tunstall's Rise and Shine Binder!)
  • Move calendar to the afternoon before math
  • Do part of the routine in the morning along with the morning meeting (day and date, discussion of special days or upcoming calendar events) and save the math activities like number of the day, coin collecting and tally marks/ten frames to count the days of the year for the afternoon.
I'm leaning towards using a calendar notebook, but I would love to hear your thoughts!  Do you have a calendar routine?  What do you include in your calendar time?  If we are having regular number talks, is a calendar routine even necessary?  

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

post signature