Calendar Time!!! A Very Important Part of a Primary Day!

It's Calendar Time
at Teaching Heart

Ideas, Printables, and Resources for Calendar Time in Your Classroom!

Update August 2014


How do you have your meeting area set up? What
exactly do you do during your calendar time? Do you
have the kids keep a weather graph individually?

These comes from a Teachers Net mailring. To learn more about the mailring click here!


Here are two pics of my calendar set-up for grade 2.

After Lunch/Recess the students would join me in front of the calendar. I always started out by reading a story. Then we would do a special person activity.

After that was finished we would start calendar activities. (I keep track of the activities below to ensure that every student gets a turn on each area.) NOTE: all student participate by clapping at certain times, showing thumbs up/thumbs down at certain times, and answering questions.

First I would pick a student to come to the front, state the date and write it on the dry erase board. "Today is September 1, 2002." Then that person would ask two calendar question - they called on students to answer. Examples might include;
"How many days till Saturday?"
"How many months are there in a year?"
"What day was it three days ago?"
"What is today's date plus yesterdays date?"
"How many days in a year?"
The students get pretty creative with this and come up with some great questions.

Then, I pick another student to come up and fill in our absent/present chart. They state how many students are in our class, how many students are absent, & how many are present. Then they fill in a greater than less than sign between the words absent and present. Then they read the statement. "Absent is greater than present." (The students on the floor are giving thumbs ups and thumbs down for verbal answers.)

After that, another student comes up; we do a similar thing with lunch count.
How many students ordered lunch A?
How many ordered lunch B
What is A + B?
What is the total of A+B - the number of students that brought lunch?

Next, another student is called up; they tell us how many days we have been in school. They write it on the chart and show the smallest amount of change that represents the total number of days in school.
20 days in school = 2 dimes

This is the class’s favorite part. One student comes up to write on the white board. They write the numeral for the number of days we have been in school. Let's say 10. Then they get to call on students to give them another way to write the number 10.
The student they call on tells them how to do it and what to write. The student writing decides if the student is correct with their response. Some might include.
Write the Roman numeral. It is an X
Ten Tally Mark. You need to make two groups of five.
1000 - 990 = 10
Write the word. It is spelled, T-E-N
Draw ten balls.
A dozen + 2.
The answers go on and on. The students try really hard to come up with something original during the year. If they do, they get a round of applause from their classmates!

Last but not least, I tie it into our lesson by showing a math message and discussing it. The program used is Everyday Math.

Note: this is basically what we do in Sept. - Nov. The difficulty increases and the activities change as the students grow.

After the Math Message, we stand up do a few stretches. Sometimes we play Simon Says! Then we start the Math Lesson! The students are sitting at Calendar for about 30 min. I feel they need to get up and around after that 30 min. to be ready for the Math lesson! The Math lesson is usually 30-45 min.


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Posted by cj1st on 6/05/02

For the first part, yes, we come back to a corner area with Awall calendar, weather etc. The helper for the day puts up the number (velcro) and tells us the date, month, year and day. Also decides the weather. Puts up a link in the ones column (moves over at ten) and puts up the coin for the day.
I have magnetic coins, use a magnet sheet from a magnetic word game, but any small flat metal piece will work. We count the days, by twos, fives etc. I keep track on a sentence strip with a marker. So, we keep track of the days three ways, tally strip, tens/ones links, and money. Then
the students go back to their seats to do their own calendar and weather chart, back to back on light tag board. They keep these in their daily folders. It only takes 10 minutes tops.

Posted by Kathy, SD,CA on 6/05/02

I taught first grade for the past three years. My calendar took up literally one of my walls because I had a lot of stuff on it. It was the wall where my open book center was. We did the weather first. We decided what the day's weather was. I had a graph where a child colored it in. Then we
discussed which one had the most, least, how much more than something else, how much less than something else. Then we
moved to the months of the year. Sometimes we said it, sometimes we sang it. Then we talked about what month it
was, what month comes before and after it, which one is the fifth month, etc. There was a graph with this and I would ask the same types of questions like I did with the weather. Then we said the days of the week. We did today, yesterday, and tomorrow. I had laminated strips that said "Today
is______" and a student would write on it the correct day and it could simply be wiped off the next day. We counted how many days were in that particular month. I would ask questions like, what day is the 6th on, or what day is the 2nd Saturday on, etc. Then we would put up money that equaled the days so far in that month. I would ask all the different ways we could make that number in change. We did the days we'd been in school. We did ones, tens, and
hundreds and I used straws. We counted by fives, twos, tens, and ones. I had a tooth graph and we'd graph the number of teeth lost for the day. We'd tally this one. We graphed birthdays when someone had a birthday.At the beginning of the year it took me around 20-30 minutes to do calendar time. By mid-year to the end of the year it took only about 15. I probably had a more extensive calendar time than anyone else around me. It was my choice, I think
it teaches a lot of concepts and it's repetitive each day and they REALLY knew how to graph and count money by the end of the year. I didn't let the kids do everything only because of time. I did have one calendar person who assisted me and I would choose students to participate that were sitting
quietly. It worked for me.I liked the previous posters idea on kids having their own graphs. I had thought about doing that once, but time was
limited as it was, and I didn't want to worry about some keeping up with it and some not and losing theirs. I think if you have a good system that works go for it.Hope this helps.

Working on Calendar Skills with Grades 1-2?  Are they getting the concept?  Need more practice?  These Activity sheets when used each month may help with this functional skill.  Just added and only 1.50!  One for each month Oct. till June!  They are all PDF files!  Start this up when you go back to school after winter break and your kiddos will have there calendar skills down pat by June!!!

Here is a free one for January and is an example of what the other months are like if you wish to buy the pack. 
Click here to downlaod the FREE January Calendar!
Click here to purchase the pack on e-junkie! 


Calendar journal record sheets for the year (In PDF and Publisher).
One for each month. You can have students fill these out once or twice a month or more if needed. Answers change based on date!
Perfect practice of many math skills through your classroom calendar.
Writing the date, yesterday, today, tomorrow, +10, -10, tally, place value and more!!!
You may choose to do these during your calendar time or as an independent center type of activity.

Click here to learn more!

Or visit TPT here for our two calendar sets combined!



Glenda 1st TN

My calendar time gets longer as the year progresses. We say the names of the month, days of the week, identify today's date on the calendar, identify today, yesterday and today on the calendar. We spend time identifying how many Fridays are ther in the month, what day of the week is June 12th, how many days are in a week, why we didn't come to school on Sat and Sun (This is discussed on Mondays.) Correct the sentence: Today is Tuesday, June 4, 2002. Add a straw to our ones pocket, check to see if we need to make a ten, hundred, etc. Add a tally mark, add a penny to the one hundreds chart,
discuss why we use a penny (it is only 1 cent), on the days we make a 5 with our tally marks we add a nickel to the 5's chart, on the days we make a ten we add a dime to the 10's chart. We count by 1s, 5, 10, and backwards from 20 to 0. As the year progresses, we add odd and even numbers, patterns,
time, counting mixed coins in our big piggy bank on the wall, and graphing to name just a few. We end our calendar time with a story. Next year we will sing our days of the week and several other Dr. Jean songs during the year. I will also start the students making class books of the songs we learn
so we can read as we sing.

I do my weather graphing during the 6 weeks that we do our weather kit. After we finish our kit, I stop recording and
graphing weather and add something else. I've never tried individual weather charts except during my weather lesson. It
sounds like a good idea though. It ties science in with the reading and math. Neat!

If your looking for a variety of calendar activities you might want to check out The Calendar and Beyond by Creative Press. It has a lot of good ideas.

I've found taking time to do a good calendar routine every morning really helps my students review and prepare for future math and reading lessons. In the past I always felt I needed to rush and get into "teaching". Then one day the "light" came on and I realized I was teaching during calendar time.

Posted by new teach on 6/05/02
******Add a straw to our ones pocket, check to see if we need to make a ten, hundred, etc.

******Add a tally mark, add a penny to the one hundreds chart, discuss why we use a penny (it is only 1 cent), on the days we make a 5 with our tally marks we add a nickel to the 5's chart, on the days we make a ten we add a dime to the 10's chart.


I use to use 3 plastic cups marked ones, tens, hundreds. We would
put one straw in each day to keep track of the number of day we
were in school. This really worked well, but then I found a small
pocket chart at a school supply store that I can put up on the
wall. It has clear plactic pockets and a place for the number
above the pocket. I really like it better.

I have a chart with the # 1-100 on the wall. Each day we put 1
penny on the chart to go with the # of days we have been in
school. I have a chart that I made from poster board with the
numbers 5 -100 written by 5's and another chart with the # 10 -
100 by tens and then a third chart 25 -100 by 25. A smaller
poster board, large index size is also on the board. Each day
that we add a straw and penny we also make a "tally mark". You
know 4 down strokes and the 5th stroke at an angle. When we make
a group of 5 tally marks we add a nickel to the 5's chart. When
me bundle up our ten straws in the ones pocket to make a ten and
move it to the pens pocket, we also add a dime to the tens chart.
We also add a quarter when we reach 25, 50 etc.

If this is still as clear as mud, just post back. I really don't
mind explaining it again.

Where is the chart that you affix the penny to, is it separate from
the chart that has 1-100 on it?

Glenda Says, "No, this 1-100 chart is a store bought chart about the size of a 1/2
sheet of poster board. It has been laminated."

And then beside that, you have
the second chart which counts by fives, and on every fifth day
you add a nickel, correct? And THEN you also have a third
chart which counts by TENS and every tenth day you affix a

Glenda responds, "These charts are teacher made. I just took 1 poster board. Drew the
number of squares I needed for each chart and wrote one number in
each square. I then cut the "chart" of 10s, 5s, and 25s apart. These
3 charts are different sizes because they each have a different set
of squares of numbers. For example, the 25 chart has 4 squares. 25 -
50- 75- 100. etc. Therefore it is about 4 or 5 inches tall and 12
inches long. I'm guessing here on the size. :)"

How do the coins stay on?

Glenda states, "The coins are small paper punch out coins that came with our math
series. I use that putty looking "stick-um" that we use to hold
posters to the wall. We just put a small "pinch" on the back of the
coin as we add it to the chart."

How large are these
charts? Are they store bought or hand made? Where do you
put the tally marks?

Glenda explains, "I have a small part of a poster board About the size of a large index
card on the wall (stick-um again). I use a magic marker to make the
tally mark each day. When we make a group of 5 I write the number
under that group. (5 10 15 20 25 30 etc.) This way the students get
to see us write our numbers by 5's as we make our tally marks"

For the pocket chart that you count 1s , 10s, and 100s, do you
put the straw in the pocket or a number card in the pocket? Do
you still use the straw to represent the numbers?

Glenda explains, "The pocket chart has 3 pockets to hold the straws for the ones, tens,
and hundreds. Then above each of these pockets is a much smaller
pocket to hold the words ones, tens, hundrends. The straws stay in
the larger pockets. I can't remember where the number cards go that
came with the set. I either stand them up behind the word card or
there is another pocket. Funny how you can't remember some details of
things you've used everyday for years. "

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I teach 2nd grade and here are the things I do with my class during our calendar time: days of the week, months of the year, long date and short date, what day comes before/after, what was the date yesterday/what will it be tomorrow, calendar problem of the day (ie If I am going on a trip and I leave May 1 and return the following Tuesday, what day/date will I return?) We also do temperature, a graph of the weather, number of days we've been at school/number of days left, a pattern of the day, a clock activity, tally marks, odd and even numbers. I don't do every activity every day. I also start off slow and add activities throughout the year. Somethings I have quit doing now that we are so late in the school year because my kids know it so well (days of the week, months, etc.) I have recently started doing measurements using learning links and the kids love it. I have a star of the day who gets to help me out. I recently had my students write what the best part of the day was for them. Most of them wrote about our calendar time. Hope this helps!

  CALENDAR TIME-We begin our Math class each day using the calendar.  We tell time by using the day, month, and year, as well as using our class schedule to tell time to the hour, half-hour, five-minute mark, and elapsed time between classes.  We use our money board to count money.  We also work on measuring, number patterns, "problem of the day", and the weather graph.  

Posted by PBencher on 6/06/02

Also, I've seen many calendars that use patterning - The numbers are on die cuts of various colors. The pattern may start with 'red, red, yellow' but by the end of the year have much more complex patterns to figure out.

One teacher I subbed for had a cup with popsicle sticks in it. Each stick had a child's name on it. The calendar person started, then chose a stick for the next person to help, then the second person chose another stick... and so on. This teacher had about 8 mini jobs in calendar -

Day of the month
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Tally marks
Bundles of straws for sets of 10s and 100
Money on velcro
Numerals in writing (22nd and 'twenty-second')
Giant month poem with a pointer
Written date, ie Wednesday May 22, 2002
And short date i.e. 5/22/02

The whole projected was almost self-directed by May! I simply chose one 'helper-outer' so that there wasn't a huge roar of correcting when someone spelled something wrong. The 'helper-outer' could whisper hints to the person at the board.

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I have 3 clear plastic envelopes and we keep track of the number of days using pennies. For every day put a penny in the envelope. When you reach 5 pennies then you exchange the 5 pennies for a nickel. Then when you reach 2 nickels, exchange it for a dime. You can go as far as a dollar if you want. The kids really know their money at the end of the year.Debby

 Calendar Set-Up - see pictures of various classroom calendar areas.

A Grade Three Calendar Area - Silver Ridge Elem.

A Grade One Calendar Area - Silver Ridge Elem.

Posted by kathy/fl on 6/28/02

I like to use the Box It /Bag It adding machine tape number lineto keep track of the number of school days and clasroomhappenings. The odd numbers are written in blue; even, red. Everyfifth # is underlined; every tenth, circled. Each special day Inote with a cut-out or 3"x3" card in my pocket chart calendar isstapled (we can staple on our walls) above the number of thecorresponding day on which it happened. You can see that thereare lots of possibilities for meaningful math extentionsins andreinforcment during circle. I also have the children recite thenumber rhyme as I'm writing numerals on the tape. They love towatch the line "grow", hop over windows,doors, and bulletinboards, and predict where it will end up on the 175th day of K!

This is what our calendar looked like (grade 1):

  1. Sing "Months of the Year" to the tune of "Macerana."

  2. Calendar leader point to each month as students repeat.

  3. Sing "Days of the Week" to the tune "Addam's Family"

To the tune of The "Addam's Family"
Days of the week (Snap, snap)
Days of the week (Snap, snap)
Days of the week
Days of the week
Days of the week (Snap, snap)

There's Sunday and there's Monday,
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday
There's Thursday and there's Friday
And then there's Saturday.

Days of the week (Snap, snap)
Days of the week (Snap, snap)
Days of the week
Days of the week
Days of the week (Snap, snap)

  1. Yesterday was:---Today is:---Tomorrow will be:---

  2. Today is month, day, year, day of the week.

  3. Recite "Money Poem"

Whose fine face is on the penny?
On the penny? On the penny?
Whose fine face is on the penny?
Abraham Lincoln.

How much is a penny worth?
Penny worth? Penny Worth?
How much is a penny worth?
Once cent.

Then repeat with: nickel/Thomas Jefferson, Dime/Franklin
Roosevelt, and Quarter/George Washington

  1. Add a penny, make whatever change is needed (5p's for a n)

  2. Check the temperature and record on the chart. If we had more than two temps, we'd discuss (cooler, warmer, etc)

  3. Add a straw to the ones pocket (Days in School) --Make whatever changes needed

  4. Talk about the number (how many ones, tens, hundreds -big #?)

  5. Write the number on the number chart in blue or red.

  6. Discuss odd or even. Count by odd or evens.

  7. Find the state/country/continent on the map.

    The only change I made was after the 100th day. At that time we took a straw out of the pockets each day (instead of adding one) and crossed a # off our hundreds chart each day (going backwards - although this didn't work very well, since the chart started at 100!)


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