Monday, April 26, 2010

new and IMPROVED Calendar Time!

I thought I'd share our "calendar wall", some of you might have seen our homemade, by me calendar {as seen below} Yep it's still around, can you believe it, somethings do make it in a houseful!!! Though we have definitely taken it a bit further..... so I thought I'd share with all of you....

At the beginning of the school year, I made some simple calendars for most of the A's {I do wish I would have made one for A6, I should have known better, she must do everything everyone else does}
I used the printables from this site. There are a few different ideas there. I printed my older 4 A's blank calendars. They fill in the date. The older A's usually fill in weeks at a time, and don't always fill in the day, every day. We also, usually on Monday, discuss our week. Maybe if we have a field trip, or an upcoming birthday or holiday. A science fair, or upcoming drawing contest we are participating in coming up. I try to mention these things, along with our weekly activities, piano, gymnastics classes, ballet classes, scouts... etc. Then we have a weather graph just behind our calendar. We {now} quickly run down the list, and fill in the chart. The kids call it the weather race, and see who will win! Weather that is!! Sometimes it's snow, sometimes it's rain... wind or sun, cloudy or foggy.... it's always fun!!

This next part won't make as much sense, until you visit the link at the end of this paragraph. I forgot to get a picture of this, and well I am too lazy to go and do it!!! Especially when it's already available somewhere else on the web!!
Then A5 and A6 count our days of school. First we write the number on a number graph, then we write it in tally marks, then we add our cards and and count with stickers and the number houses. This has helped A5 immensely, he always struggled with numbers belonging in houses. So how this works is I took recipe cards. Cut them in half {and then ended up trimming off a small bit to get them to fit nicely} I used a baseball card holder sheet, and turned it sideways. Now you have 3 rows and 3 columns running horizontally. Then I put on the top {the words} ones, tens and hundreds. Each day we place a number in the number slot on the bottom. So on day 1 we put in 1 {the number}, and put one sticker above it on a card. Then on day 2 we take out the number 1 and put in the number 2 and add another sticker to the same card. Day 3 we take out the 2 and put in the three adding another sticker. We repeat this process until day 10. When you reach day 10 you remove the number 9 and put a 1 in the tens house and a 0 in the ones house. Then you add your tenth sticker to the card, and then the stickers are put in the tens house, and a new empty card is placed in the ones house. Meaning the number 10 is 1 card of 10 stickers and 1 card of 0 stickers. Then on you go!!! We have tons and tons of stickers sitting around here. I just pull out a sheet and use it until it's gone and then pull out another. I wrote this post first and finally took a few pictures to add to it. I forgot to snap one of this, so this is the link, which showed me how to do it... she explains it nicely, and has a photo to "see" what it is I am trying to say here!
While we are doing our number house counting, the older 3 A's practice their tally marks {by their request} and Roman Numerals {by my request} I might have them add writing their numerals next month, since that is one they could use a review of. A1 checks A2 and A3's work. He knows his Roman Numerals well, and they get mixed up from time to time. Then this month, A1 has also started graphing the morning temperatures, {his idea}.

I have on our calendar wall area some cute yesterday... today.... and tomorrow... signs. I purchased these at a local dollar store. I put Velcro on the signs and on the backs of the days. So each day I can simply pull off the days and move them. They have pre-made slots, but they never lined up, or where easily knocked off. I guess I shouldn't complain, I mean I only spent a dollar for a whole calendar set!!

Along the top of the wall I have an older {smaller} line of the months in order. We usually sing different calendar type songs.. you know days of the weeks, months of the years, seasons, etc. They are all over the Internet, I just find some and print them off, use the ones we like and move on.

I LOVE this picture of Jesus teaching and it's been in all our school rooms/learning rooms/ learning areas. {We have schooled all over the house, at one time or another!!}

I also picked up the saying and posted it on this same wall...

JOY find JOY in your life, make serving your family a priority!!! Put JESUS first, OTHERS second, and YOURSELF last. We use to say it daily. Now we say it about once a week, or so.

This is also where we have our Composer Study Picture and Artist Study Picture posted. {I can honestly say, I haven't been the best at remembering to do these each month. However it is something I truly want to do, so I keep them there, and am trying to work them into our routine better}

The latest thing I have added to our calendar area, I put push pins in the calendar. Every month we do a pattern using these link 'n' learn links. I always start with my youngest A's to try to figure out the pattern. We have only done this for one month. Though the older A's have asked to be in charge of setting up the patterns, and I will be allowing them to do it, as long as they can do it right!!!

I also picked up at the local dollar store some calendar pieces. They had 3 different sets of cute calendar months, and numbers. At the beginning of each month, I choose an A to pick our month topper.

Each morning after our calendar time, I run one time through it with them, Today is Wednesday March 3, 2010. Literally this takes no time at all, and the A's always remind me when I forget to do it!!! It has become one part of our school day, we will have to continue... probably forever!!! The nice part to calendar time, is to start it off simply. Then add different elements, different ideas, different twists to it. Making it more educational, more fun and so you are using that time on all levels. You can easily add in geography, by doing map work, or grammar, by discussing different terms, add history, by adding in historical dates and historical facts {yeah I keep saying I am going to do that one, but never remember to get my dates prepared} You can add things like temperature, counting things like Roman Numerals and Tally Marks like we do... you could do a different language each month and learn the numbers in Spanish, French, Hebrew, sign language... whatever.
WOW I have just come up with some great ideas, maybe I'll have to start implementing one more thing!

On the wall across from our "calendar wall" is our white board, this is where I write our weekly songs, and our weeks memory verse. Also the small index cards on the white board {if you can find them among that mess!!} are our other memory work we are currently doing. The cork board is where I stick all the stuff I need to remember!!! Life saver!!! I LOVE it!!!!

Just remember start SLOW.... we started our calendar time last year, with a simple calendar... placing the newest date on the calendar.

Here's a picture of the entire "calendar wall" Sorry it's sideways, I got mad and gave up.... it wasn't cooperating!!! If you can tell this wall is tiny, it's a small section between two windows, making a perfect spot for our "calendar wall"

I can say though, I just read this post about her circle time, and this post which inspired me to share my ideas.... I am sure our "calendar wall" will be even better soon!! I love sharing ideas!
As a side note, I looked up the site, Mrs. Meacham's Classroom, to link to for this post. That is where I first saw the idea of the calendar binders.... well I had no idea she had so many great ideas. You might enjoy a stroll around her site!


  1. I love the idea of the songs and scripture verse for the week! We use the same calendar notebook pages. One thing we've added to our calendar time is counting money- for example if it's day of school number 146, Doodle counts out $1.46 On a simplier version- Roo uses the calendar- so if it's April 26- he counts out 26 pennies- then matches them up to see if 26 is odd or even.

  2. I love the idea of counting with money, I have seen that on a few blogs, and keep thinking I should do it. Now I just need to find some money!!


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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6