Thursday, July 21, 2011

{Math} Calendar Companion, An Edited {K} download, and a Meet-up

First things first. I uploaded the WRONG version of my Kindergarten “What is My Child Learning?!” printable. Dang. Thanks for catching that, ladies! Click on the pic to download the edited copy. {Sorry about that!}
What is My Child Learning in Kindergarten
Next up, for the Dallas friends that said y’all were interested in a little end of summer/back to school type lunch, please email me at I will be sending you details this coming week!! Can’t wait!
Now for the good stuff. I get lots of emails about math and how it all goes down in my classroom. I know I’m probably the odd man out, but I LOVE teaching math. After 9 years of teaching, I think I’ve *finally* got a system that I absolutely LOVE and it makes teaching math so much fun! Considering I absolutely used to DETEST the subject, I’d say that my admission of geekiness says a lot! I’ll be posting a lot of details about my math block and tub stuff in the next few days, so check back incase you’re interested.
One of my favorite things about teaching math is calendar time. Say what?! I know, I know. The time of the day when the Earth stands still. It can really D-R-A-G on, for sure. However, I actually enjoy it…especially at the beginning of the year. Right after morning announcements, we move right into our daily calendar routine. After that, we start our “Number of the Day”. I combined the best of both worlds for a more organized way to spend our time. Say hello to my Calendar Companion…
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

The Calendar Companion is organized to supplement your daily calendar routine.
Each of my kids’ have a math journal {spiral notebook} and a math notebook. The math notebook houses all the calendar companion printables and the math journal…
it looks a little something like this…
Each of my firsties get a binder…one that’s big enough to hold papers and their spiral notebooks {journals}. Each binder needs 3 clear sheet protectors {you can get for super cheapie at Wal Mart} and 4 dividers {also super cheapie at Wal Mart. I assemble my kids binders with quick reference sheets in the clear sheet protectors and those go in the front of the binder. Here are just a couple…
Right after those 3 pages, I set up all the dividers…Number of the Day, Math Talk, Weather Graphs, and fill-in Calendars. Journals are placed at the back of the binder.
I love, love, LOVE Number of the Day! It covers everything we go over during our calendar routine. At the beginning of the year, we start out doing it together and by the end of the year, they’re all working independently! It’s awesome to have an entire school year’s worth of work to see how much the kids progress and how much their thinking changes and grows. I LOVE IT!!!! The Number of the Day is a printable that contains space to write the Date & digital date; yesterday was/today is/tomorrow will be; number word, tallies, pattern, even/odd, time {analog & digital}, money, place value, expanded notation, greater than/less than, and number sentences. {Although I know that our firsties aren’t expected to correctly spell and write the days of the week, there’s NO reason they shouldn’t be able to…especially when it’s plastered all over our rooms! And it’s awesome to see how much they retain when they’re constantly writing the date & days on a daily basis. I also think they should absolutely be able to spell the number words…most of them, anyway…so that’s always been a little focus point for my kids as well. }
The binder also includes a little framework for word problems. Sometimes the kids just work better when the format is organized!
There’s a section for “Math Talk” which is really just math vocab. I like for my kids to write the word and then show a visual representation of it to make a connection between the word & the meaning. They keep these words in their binders throughout the year and use it as a reference if needed.
We also work on weather graphs every month. I have weather watchers/meteorologists who peek out our window and give us a daily weather report. We chart the weather on a class graph and then the kids fill it in on their own graphs as well. At the end of the month, we complete a monthly weather report indicating the number of days that were sunny/rainy/cloudy/snowy/sleety. The kids also get to make observations on patterns in our graph.
No calendar time is complete without a calendar, so each binder gets 12 fill-in calendars, one for each month of the year. At the beginning of every month, we fill in the calendar and then talk about the number of days in the month. They ALWAYS use their calendars for reference. These really came in handy when I got my SmartBoard!! Since I do our calendar routine on the SmartBoard, I don’t have one in the classroom…so the kids would always refer to their own when they needed it. LOVE!!!
I can’t say enough about our math notebooks…I just LOVE them! I love that the framework is so organized and really keeps the kids on task instead of aimlessly doodling in their journals {which is what I found a lot of my sweet babies doing from time to time}. They still use their math journals, but not for number of the day anymore.
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

If you’re interested in starting a math notebook in your classroom, you can check out my Calendar Companion on TpT! The first 3 comments will get a copy mailed directly to your inbox :) Just make sure to leave your email address, too!!

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