Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning Calendar

I am curious to know about your morning calendar routine.  What do you think is essential? How long do you spend on calendar time? What is your routine?  Do you have one student helper and the rest of the class answer?  How do you keep them engaged?

I have been tackling over morning calendar since I first started teaching.  It became so monotonous at times and it didn't seem to be working so I would quit half way through the year.  I felt like the kids were lost and it was "down time" for the rest of the students that weren't the "helper" for the day.  They weren't as engaged as I would have liked and I wasn't sure if they were even getting it. It wasn't showing in their work.  Does anyone else feel this frustrated with calendar or do I just have high expectations?  I don't like to feel like I am wasting my time with one thing when there is something else that I could be doing.

This year, I tried something new.  Let me tell you, I loved it!!  Here is what I did.  I created a calendar template with many of the things we cover during that time and printed it onto card stock.  Then I laminated it so that the students could write on it with dry erase markers.  I made one for each student in my class.  Each morning, as part of their morning work, they had to write the date and day of the week (it would take them so long to copy down some of those words so I would make them get it ready before we began calendar).  Then, as we began calendar, my helper would go through the calendar on the smart board (as we discussed each thing) and then the rest of the class would do it on their "dry erase board."

As the year went on, I noticed that the kids were participating more.  They were trying to answer questions.  They were trying to fill in the squares on their board before we announced the answer.  They were even noticing patterns in the different things that we were doing!  It was fantastic!  And best of all, I KNEW what they understood.  I could see it right there on their board.  I knew which kids were just copying the answers from the board and which ones were actually understanding the skills.

So, I am sharing my morning calendar with you!  We call it our Calendar Helper because it is so very helpful!  I am sharing it with you as a flash freebie for the next hour.  Be sure to grab it quick!

This calendar board is also a part of my homework and classwork helpers pack.  The pack includes phonics, math, sight words, reading comprehension, and now calendar.  You can check out this great bundle here!  If you love it, and have a chance, please leave some feedback!


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