HOW TO DISPLAY and USE a CLASSROOM CALENDAR (CLASSROOM SET UP IDEAS)




Last summer, as part of my “Setting Up A Classroom Series” I did a post featuring classroom calendars. You may find additional information there that could be beneficial to you if you are looking to change up your calendar.


For the past few years, I’ve had my calendar in one of those pocket charts that are specifically designed with 7 rows to hold calendar pieces.

Eh!
I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it.
It just “was what it was.”
One problem I did encounter was that because it hung on the back of a door there was no place to write the date.
And since I require my students date EVERYTHING, it is kind of important to have it modeled.
So as part of my Classroom Makeover, I revamped my calendar.
I ditched the pocket chart calendar and went to buy a posterboard calendar. I didn’t love the selection, but I don’t have the patience to wait. I knew I could easily alter it.  And I did.




{click here to access and download 180 Attendance Questions / Journal Prompts}
180 Attendance Questions / Journal Prompts are great for checking in with your students each morning. The kids love reporting in and hearing their classmates’ responses. They also work really well as a daily writing activity or a homework assignment. 



 One of my classroom walls is a retractable wall that allegedly has the ability to open up to the neighboring classroom to create one giant space, but has always been treated as a permanent. It’s magnetic and for the past few years I’ve had my calendar on that wall and used number cutouts with donut magnets hot glued onto the back. This made changing them each month super easy and (since I love all things efficient) I knew I wanted to find an equally easy way to change the dates when I moved my calendar as part of my classroom makeover.



I found my answer with these handy little clips. They are perfect for displaying paper and because they are attached with a squishy adhesive of sorts the clips can be repositioned, removed, or reused. 


I bought a calendar poster at the teacher store and attached one clip to each day. To spruce it up I used party streamers to create ruffles around the perimeter. I sat with some of my students during a rainy indoor recess and they made the ruffles for me by scrunching up the streamers and stapling them at the bottom to hold the ruffle together. I then stapled them to the calendar and then attached ribbon to hide the staples and give it another pop of color to match my classroom color scheme.





Because my students access the calendar when working on their number of the day activities as well as when using the calendar task cards during our daily math workshop with guided math groups I needed to keep it in a spot that was visible from around the room. 



In addition to the traditional calendar, I also have a space to record the date written in words (September 3, 2014) as well as with slashes (9/3/14).


These calendar pieces are part of my aqua chevron color scheme packet. All of the new classroom theme packets as well as each of the color scheme mix and match packets have their own version of the calendar pieces as one of the 33 classroom essentials that are included in each bundle for less than .40 cents per product!! 

Each bundle also includes a chart for tracking the number of days you have been in school. I also plan to include that on my calendar board because understanding place value is a big part of our third grade math curriculum. It’s all set up an ready to go for the first day of school in September, which at the moment feels a long way down the road...unfortunately I know from experience that summer vacation will be over all too quickly.

{Click here to access and print my Calendar Task Card Activity Packet}
A calendar board in the classroom is a wonderful way to add in additional math practice on a daily basis. Establishing routines is key. When I began teaching in Florida (pause for fond memories of teaching in sundresses and sandals year round....), I was trained by the creator of Everyday Counts. I really liked the program because it incorporated time, money, patterns, geometry, and so much more into a short daily routine.
When I moved back to MA, my new school didn't use it, but I was able to use some of the same concepts in my own calendar routine. Best of all, I was able to customize the calendar area my own way.
Click here to access and print my Calendar Task Card Activity Packet}
Click here to access and print my Calendar Task Card Activity Packet}
Click here to access and print my Calendar Task Card Activity Packet}
When creating a calendar board you first need to decide where to house it. Ideally, it should be accessible from your whole class meeting area so that you can use it as a daily teaching tool. I know some may have visions of "calendar time" being strictly a primary experience, but upper elementary can benefit from it too. It doesn't need to be about, "Today is..., yesterday was... and tomorrow will be..."

I know that calendar concepts often come up on standardized tests. They are asked questions like, "Juan's birthday is in 2 weeks and 6 days. What is the date of his birthday." This isn't something that is taught in our curriculum directly so adding in a question or two like this each morning during group time is a nice way to cover it. 
Click here to access and print my Calendar Task Card Activity Packet}
I've gathered some resources to help you plan out your calendar board. I suggest you start by making a list of components you want to include. Next measure the space you have to put everything. Finally, sketch it out on paper and then make it a reality.

I just released a Calendar Task Card and Activities Kit on Teachers Pay Teachers:
It includes 24 task cards that can be used over and over throughout the year. You can include it as part of a morning calendar routine or as a math center. Younger learners can answer the prompts verbally while older learners can respond in writing using complete sentences.

In addition to the 24 task cards, there are 2 activity pages. The first is to be completed monthly and has lines for primary and intermediate students. The second could be used daily and includes a variety of math skill practice including tallies, money. computation and place value in addition to calendar skills. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE IT.

Math Wire (great resource btw) has a page that compiles lots of ideas with links and pics.
Chalk Ink pen? Um, yes please!

The bold and bright calendar below is from Mama Jenn. Be sure to check out the calendar notebook link on her page.

This site offers a tutorial on how to make a calendar with your kids. I love how bright and colorful it is.



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