Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Morning Routines (Calendar)

The Guide to Effective Instruction in Mathematics K-6: Classroom Resources and Management (Volume 3) has this to say about calendar:

Students can experience the best of times or the worst of times in learning about the days, weeks, and months through calendar-based activities. They experience the worst of times when they passively sit through rote counting and rote verbal routines that focus on giving the daily date, weather, and temperature or when they simply repeat memorized verbal exercises (e.g., “Today is Wednesday, yesterday was Tuesday, tomorrow will be Thursday”) rather than participate in thoughtful, creative learning that helps them achieve significant mathematical understanding.  Students can experience the best of times when they move beyond the rote learning of mathematics. Indeed, the calendar can be used as a basis for rich learning opportunities through which students can develop new skills and concepts within the secure familiarity of calendar time. (page 47)

Here is an example of what happens during calendar time during Jennifer's Full Day Kindergarten class:

A visual reminder of each type of weather so students know what to look for.
Students use the bingo dabbers to record the weather they observe through the window.
A five frame can be used to help students organize this collected data so they can focus on counting by 5s.
Students discuss the pattern in the calendar as they fill it up.  This discussion does not happen every day for the entire month.

What are your experiences with calendar?

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