Sunday, July 15, 2012

Count The Days!

I originally posted this in January but I accidentally deleted this post when I was trying to edit it...I tried to undo it but the steps involved were way over my head so I thought it would be easier to just redo the post.  So if you already saw this don't think that I forgot I posted it, I am redoing it.  Who knows I might even say something better this time:)

This year I decided to change the way I keep track of how many days we have been in school.  I got this idea from Debbie Diller.  Each day we added one post-it to the wall.  Obviously, as we started a new row we changed the color to make it easier to see the different groups of ten.  When we got to one hundred I stopped adding post-its and used the straws in the cups to help us count on.  When we had completed our hundred chart I was able to play a game that the children loved.  Before the kids came in I would take off a few numbers and when they arrived they would have to tell me which numbers were missing and how they figured it out.  They loved this!  

Here is a picture of what the whole calendar area looked like.  There is a little more on the whiteboard next to the calendar board.  I have some calendar numbers mixed up on there and come coins that we were reviewing.

Our main focus during calendar time is math (not days of the week, months, birthdays,etc.) so we not only use the post-its to count the days we also use the straws in the cups for place value and this year I started using ten frames with bingo dabbers.

This was the 100th day of school so all of the straws are in the hundreds cup.  I have a blank ten frame up for the next day and the ten frames that have been filled in are on a ring so each day we can count by tens and then add the ones to see how many days we have been in school.  I also have a monthly cut out (you can see it in the second picture it is the large snowflake next to the hundred chart of post-its) where we make tally marks for each day.  There are so many different ways to count the days and I want my students to understand that you can use different methods to get the same answer.  I think certain kids click with certain methods too. 

Last year our district moved away from the typical calendar time because they felt that many of the things that we did during that time were not in the new common core standards.  At first this was hard for me because I am so used to doing calendar time.  I decided that I was not going to get rid of it entirely.  I did take out some of the things that I did before like, singing the days of the week, months, birthdays, the pattern on the calendar and yesterday, today, tomorrow.  I do think that the children learn a lot from calendar time but I understand their concerns so I changed it a little.  The students love this time of the day!


  1. Why are you not supposed to do a regular "calendar time"?

  2. Hi Terri, We have implemented the new common core standards and the administration said that the days of the week and months and other things that we did during that time were not in the standards and they did not want us focusing on them. I don't think that they realize how much learning goes on during calendar time.

  3. I agree...I don't think they understand how much can be covered during calendar time and how much is intrinsic learning that needs to occur. We latched on to that quote this summer when taking common core training. We have also implemented the common core standards and are lucky enough to have administrators that trust their teachers to know how best to teach those standards. We latched onto the quote in the document (in the introduction) that says that some of the skills are intrinsic and that it should be left to the teachers to best determine how to teach the standards to their students. I think I have become a bit of a rebel as I have gotten older and I do teach the ways I want if I feel strongly enough. Like I said though....I have an administration that lets us. By your administration's logic, money only needs to be taught in 2nd grade. That will be tough for them if K and 1st doesn't lay some background by teaching coin identification and value. But it is nice we don't have to worry about counting change. (although I will be counting some pennies and dimes) I will also do a bit with time (because it drives me crazy and hours are easy for most).

    I am sorry you cannot teach the way you want, but I am glad you get to include things that you feel are the most important.


  4. Michele. Thanks so much for linking up your post to my bloghop on all things "Math." I know that others will appreciate the insight you've shared here!!

    I'm your newest follower!

    Debbie Clement

  5. I just found your blog and love it! What cute ideas. I just gave your blog an award. Please come over to my blog to get all the details.

    :) Amy


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