Calendar Time Refresh

exposure holidays past pattern sequence time Jan 27, 2023

How do you feel about Calendar Time? Do you look forward to it? Is it a drag? Maybe you are required to include it and do the bare minimum to get through it. If this is the case, a new perspective and revamp could make this activity delightful. If you enjoy Calendar Time already, you might see some of your ideas here, or pick up new ones.

We don’t expect 4 year olds to tell us that on Tuesday, they had ice cream for dessert. We expect that anything in the past happened “yesterday” and anything in the future will happen “tomorrow”. Calendar Time exposes them to the sequence of months and pattern of days. As their concept of time develops, they will have the vocabulary in their knowledge bank, ready to use. According to Maria Montessori, “Children feel a special interest for those things already rendered familiar to them in the earlier period”. (Montessori, M. The Absorbent Mind) When we expose children to ideas that are beyond their current comprehension, we are laying a foundation for interest and the growth of future understanding.

Consider trading out elements of your Calendar Time on occasion, to keep it fresh without making it longer.

  • Write student names on their birthday. Let students predict how many days until their birthday and conduct a countdown.
  • Count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s to figure out how many days in a month.
  • Include holidays from cultures around the world. Post pictures, conduct countdowns, and show where the holiday originated on a globe or world map.
  • Sing “Days of the Week” to the tune of The Addams Family theme song. Demonstrate how to snap, help children try snapping, and ultimately let them choose to snap or clap.
  • When singing the months of the year, add a new motion to the month you are in. With your hands make fireworks for January, a heart for February, rain falling for March, flowers growing for April, etc.
  • Let students take turns writing the numeral on the calendar. Create a classroom job or add it as a responsibility for an existing job.
  • Record weather temperatures or features. Look for patterns, make predictions, and check if the temperature is higher or lower than predicted.
  • Place a sticky note on the calendar each day. Let students share what they are looking forward to that day and write a few down.
  • Draw a shape on each day to create a pattern. Read the pattern with students and let them predict what will come next in the pattern.
  • Write the date for children to see. Demonstrate different ways of writing the date such as with numerals or a combination of words and numerals.
  • Include the winter solstice, summer solstice, spring equinox, and fall equinox on the calendar. Discuss seasons and look outside for signs of changing seasons.
  • Draw the phases of the moon on each day and study the pattern of moon phases and each shape’s name.
  • See if children recognize the rhythms of your Calendar songs. For example, you can sing “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Today is Tuesday, it is Tuesday all day long” to the tune of “Oh my Darling Clementine”.

Keep in mind that if it isn’t fun for you as the teacher, it’s not likely to be fun for your students either. So choose options that are appealing to you, make them your own, and enjoy!