Calendar Time: Is It Still Important?

The Question:
How many K teachers out there do the calendar first thing in the morning?
I’m thinking of changing calendar time to a later time in the morning and wonder if it makes a difference with the kids.
And, what ae your thoughts on continuing the calendar routine now that calendar skills are not in the Common Core?
The Answers:
Matt Halpern
 I usually do it later in the am, right before lunch we do calendar and then our math block.
Pam Marret Riley 
I have done it morning and afternoon. I like having that morning meeting with my group to start our day. Even when I waited till the afternoon, I still had a good morning song a a brief, “Today is….”.
MaryLou Tuite Weymann 
I am questioning this myself. I usually do it in the AM but now thinking of doing it after lunch/recess to regroup.
Brandi Goulding
 I have done it both ways.. in the morning and later on.. this past year, our math time was late in the afternoon, which was TERRIBLE. We tried switching it up to see if teaching math first thing in the morning made a difference in our scores and it DID! Tremendously! Across the board with all 7 of our KG teachers.. however, admin said we couldn’t change the time of math. From my experience  first time in the AM works best.. their minds are fresh… they know the date, day etc first thing for the rest of the day, rather than later on.. I just hope our Math block is first this this year!
Lisa Gugliotti Flanagan 
I like it better in the AM but this past school year that wasn’t an option, and we had calendar around 12:00. It didn’t seem to matter to the kids, and they actually got quite proficient at figuring out the date when we hadn’t actually changed it yet.
Karen Hapli 
I have done it both ways. I prefer morning simply because it’s a great way to start the day with the new date/count, etc…plus, for my late arrivers, they don’t miss the meat of any formal lesson. Afterwards we follow up with math. However, I also like doing it right after lunch — this is the time a lot of my kids need the restroom, so during calendar, I also call teams to use the bathroom. They miss a few minutes at most, and then when we’re ready to start our lesson, they are all settled in and ready to work without distraction.
Tara Farrell 
I do Morning Meeting to start the day but do calendar time in the afternoon.
Stacy Henry 
I do calendar later in the morning. I prefer to start the day with shared reading activities which they all love and they set a good tone for the day. I struggle with calendar because as the year goes on the kids and I get more and more bored with it!
Sara Saplis Edgar 
I’ve done it right after lunch for the past 6 years and love it. I reserve the entire morning for reading and then math for the afternoon. It works for us.
Vicki Oliver Krueger
 First thing during circle time. Students have to put the date on their work, so having it stated, changed on the calendar and written down gives them somewhere to look when it’s time to write it down.
Tina Yates Dunson
 I’ve always started my day with calendar. This year, however, we changed things up mid year to give us more time during our reading block. It worked out great. When we returned from lunch, I would immediately start calendar and move straight into Math. It just seemed to flow better.
Celina Norris Davis 
We have a morning meeting time where they greet one another and have (scheduled) show and tell. I talk about what standards we will cover and any thing special we will do that day. This is all at the carpet. After lunch, we do our math block and calendar is included in that. Complete with a calendar folder. 🙂
Angela Fairis Hildreth 
My K team has often debated this point as well. We try to do calendar and morning meeting first thing. This past school year we had resource first thing so the kiddos didn’t get back until after 10. We started calendar then, but we always had to stop to allow speech, reading and other specialists to come in. I really felt like my kids got more out of it when it was the very first thing they did as a group to start their day.
Patti Rosenquist 
I do morning meeting in the am and calendar after lunch. Like Sara, my morning is devoted to literacy and I do more hands on with math and science in the pm.
Becca L. Larson 
This may not be an issue for you all, but our tardiness rate is horrendous. So the same kiddos miss calendar every day because they are tardy every day. So I switched mine because they need to get that information. I went to bell work in the morning instead. It also allowed me to talk to kids and parents because I wasn’t jumping in right away.
Danielle Savage 
I touch on the day of the week, and the special of the day in our morning message, and I do calendar after lunch. Its a chance for the kids to regroup and get the lunch sillies out (when we’re doing our songs and stuff) 🙂
Doreen ONeil
 In the morning, we sing and dive into readers workshop. We connect the calendar with our math block in the afternoon, makes more sense to me.
Christina Collinsworth
I haven’t found much of a difference for the kids. I think it would be better with math block BUT when I have tried it, mid-way through the year, I tend to find excuses not to do it :)because I get bored with it or our math lessons are more extensive
Amanda Hao
 Same here with morning meeting, literacy block. Calendar was after lunch/nap. It worked out well:)
Sharon Bohn
 I have done calendar at both times of the day and did not see a difference as long as the children are kept in a routine. I pick a time to do calendar for the year and stick to it. I have not had a problem. I actually prefer a little later in the day.
Cheryl Dycio
The kids don’t really react any differently to when it is done. What ever fits your schedule is fine. I have done both and noticed no difference.
Janelle Potts Ewigman
 We have split our calendar into 2 parts. We do months, days, attendance, weather, etc in the morning and counting, patterns, shapes, etc in the afternoon right before math.
Jamie Butterfield Berube
 I usually do it later in the day to start our math block. I found that doing after morning meeting is just too much.
Erica Butler 
When I taught K, I did calendar in the afternoon and a morning meeting in the am where we talked about the day of the week and stuff. It worked out well, and I still do it that way teaching 1st.
Amy Ragozine Canterino 
I do calendar first thing and to prevent boredom every month I switch calendar songs. They love it and it changes the routine a bit.
Bridget Goodnow Lee
 I do it later in the day, right before math:)
Melissa Hejmanowski
 I do mine first thing
Kelly McMurtrie Thomas
 I do mine after lunch. I always do the reading block all morning.
Peggy Vaughan Grier
 I have done it both ways…always started the day with it,but because of schedule changes, last year did it right before math and it worked out fine. I always start the day with our morning message so the date and day are covered in that. Then later in the day when we do calendar they are telling me the day and date. I didn’t want to change it but it worked out well. I will keep it the same way for this year.
Wendy Koby-Royal
 Same as some others- I start the day with morning message which covers the day of the week and any important info for the day then move into shared reading and literacy block until lunch. I start calendar after lunch and move into math block. Just made sense to me to group them together.
Libby Norris
 At my school, we start our reading program immeduately in the morning, so we do the calendar after lunch. I don’t think it really makes that much difference with the kids…they don’t need the date and such on their work, and if it ever comes up as to what day it is, etc, I am proud to say mine can look at the calendar and figure it out from the previous day’s info!!
Janet Auer Baird
 I changed my calendar to right before first recess. Left me ore time to be flexible with cleaning up centers, and finishing indiv. work.
Niketa Brown 
I thought about changing when I do calendar, but I discuss with the class our schedule for the day based on what day it is; therefore our calendar discussion needs to take place at the beginning of the day.
Betsy Cate 
Last year our math block was at 1 so I did calendar then. The main problem with doing it so late was me and somedays I let it slide so that other things could get done. When I was evaluated I lost lots of points because my principal did not see calendar as part of balanced math. Our system is making Morning Meeting and balanced math mandatory and I have been told calendar cannot be part of Morning Meeting. I am concerned as to where it will fit in now, but am convinced of its importance!
Tonya Richards 
Mine is done when I do my math lesson using the smartboard, but i have a traditional calendar in the room the kids can see during the day.
Nancy Woltman
 I have done it both times. I highly recommend going to Shari Sloane’s website and using her calendar folders. My kids learned so much using those.
Marcy Davis Wegner 
I do a morning meeting first thing in the am (Responsive Classroom), so calendar/weather goes after lunch. I have 15 min between lunch and recess, and that works out perfectly. I wasn’t sure I’d like doing it later in the day, but I really do!
Kim Deibert
 check out this calendar article
Adrienne Sewell 
Morning. I am more diligent with it. Also I am getting in math both morning and afternoon. The students enjoy the routine of calendar and morning message being done together.
Carolynne O’Neal 
Have always done calendar in the morning, for 25 years. Great time to bond and get focused for the day.
Tammy Owensby Carpenter
 I like morning because believe it or not by the afternoon my energy is zapped, I do it better in the morning.
Sarah Hudson
 THANK YOU KIM DEIBERT, 5 comments up, for that link to that article! I feel like much of the calendar is a waste of time. I am in the process of re-vamping what happens during that time, and that article helped a lot. Our final math assessment only asks 3 calendar questions, and the children struggle even after doing calendar every day all year!! (i.e. if this is today, point to tomorrow). Thanks for all the great info everyone.
Dana Pawlak 
Alot of my days we have specials right away in the am. We do a Calendar/group time after snack time. First thing in the am, we do centers or I have a task at their seat for them to work on. This helps with attendance, lunch counts, etc. I typically have late students every morning as well, so this helps with getting them caught up as well.
Helen Harle 
Wow, thank you all for such great responses!!! I had done mine in two parts like Janelle posted, but even that seemed to take too long to get through. I think after the morning message I’d like to get right into the morning literacy lesson. I will check out the link as well. I think I will move all of it to before the math block and look at what is important and what is not in the new standards. Your responses were so helpful!! I knew I could count on Miss B’s page!!!
Kim Winfree
 I usually do mine after lunch it seems to calm them back down quicker.
Liz Cooper
We do ours mid morning. Seems to go ok.
Eileen Burke
I do mine in the morning. gets them ready for the day. Helps when they know what day it is.
Lisa Marie Combs-Presley 
I do mine just before math (not first thing in the morning) and it doesn’t matter to the kids!
Michelle Cloutier Langley 
I have done it both ways…at this school the kids trickle in over about 25 minutes, so now I do it right after morning recess..it leads nicely into my math block. It does not seem to make any difference!
Susan Schaum Pace 
This year, I had it in the afternoon, and it was fine, but they didn’t seem to have as much attention for it. I think I am going to to go back to doing it in the morning as a part of my morning meeting.
Dequency Ragler 
I plan to make my calendar routine more common core friendly.
Carole Mueller McIntire 
I’m calling it my Math Wall. Think it is too important to eliminate. :o)
Sarah McKenzie Seitz
 I will continue with my calendar time. I look at standards as being a minimum for instruction. There are always children who are ready for a bit more & those that aren’t quite ready for it. I will not be assessing the skills not addressed in k based on the common core standards.
Trella Collins
 I personally think my children get a lot out of our calendar time. I would hate to see it go. We only spend about 15 minutes on calendar each day, but I really would love to see it lengthened. I love calendar and, generally, my students do too. I am not sure how everyone else does their calendar, but I try, depending on the time of the year, to add a few extras here and there…depending on what we are working on in math.
Vickie Plant
 Some of the skills we do on our calendar are in our SS standards and we also tweaked a lot last year to meet common core…we’re keeping it
Cheri Dodson Smith
 I feel that calendar is important for teaching reading skills! It teaches left to right, return sweep, patterning, and a sense of time passing. I guess it is all about how you use it!
Jennifer Janin Hughes
 I’m keeping it. I teach patterning through calendar. We also do counting by 1’s, 5’s & 10’s. Tallies, graphing, addition, subtraction, ten frames, and tens & ones (place value). I have been doing all this stuff for years during calendar time!!!
Tina Lageson
 We use Bridges for our math program. Their calendar, contains many Common Core aspects.
Amanda Houck
 I agree… too important to eliminate. I’ve always done a “math meeting” where I include a daily counting practice, pattern, tallies for counting days in school, time, and weather. Once October comes I allow the student of the day to make a pattern, do the tallies and the weather graph. As for the calendar, I use it as a visual to show the kids when special days are coming…birthdays, gym, music, computers, etc. We focus on “today” and the days of the week but they are not assessed.
Nadine Inglis Berger
 I’m keeping it…so many skills there. So much is being skipped in the common core that I am afraid somewhere, someone will change things again and the kids will miss out on the skills when they are older.
Katharine Vera Noble
 Don’t give up calendar, please don’t! I teach special ed — I have third graders who don’t understand when their bday is, when spring or summer will come, what ‘next month’ means. Don’t give up the good fight.
Anita Sebastian
I use calendar skills as part of my morning meeting. It is a time to look at our day, practice days of the week, months, and numbers. I could not see giving it up.
Heather Sartwell Beauregard 
I find that my students use the calendar as a resource when they need help! They use it to count up to a number when they want to recall what it looks like or what comes before or after a number. I do not love the new supplemental calendar cards that Bridges has created for the common core though. That mess of dots was too much last fall!
Erica Butler
 I love that everybody on this thread realizes the importance of calendar time and continues to do it even though it technically doesn’t meet the standards. I think the kids really need the skills addressed in calendar! I teach 1st grade now, so along with calendar, we skip count, use 10 frames, addition and subtraction, money, time, etc… My students also use the calendar for reference since they use it every single day and are very familiar with it.
Melissa Hartley Haile
 I can’t imagine NOT having a calendar time. There is so much vocabulary and counting skills. I recently made a calendar journal for my kinders using the Promethean board. I can’t wait to use it in the fall!
Kelli Smith 
You can align most of calendar time to Common Core. This past year, I looked through Common Core and took out all of the standards that I covered in calendar time- I then hung them up as objectives that we tried to meet every day. For example: (math CC) counting by tens, counting on (science CC) recognize the differences in the sky {not quoting that correctly}, (reading CC) we will recognize common sight words, etc.  You can totally connect it in a way, even if you have to stretch it… that way, you’ll never have to be worried about justifying your well-planned and most loved calendar time! 🙂
Olivia Diane Bishop Savage 
Yes, keep doing the calendar activities they are important.
Pam Marret Riley
 I adjusted my calendar time to common core last year. I saw a big jump in my students understanding of numeration!
Elizabeth Brown
 I’m cutting what many of them never really grasped anyway: money, fractions, and telling time. I’m working in more tens frames and numeration and other number concepts. I feel as though the calendar routine really grounds my students and I in the day. It is where they really start to grasp the idea of a day, week, month, and year. The ideas of yesterday, today and tomorrow need to be reinforced often. I also plan on keeping place value. The above are all necessary language development especially with ELL students.
Brenda Smith Browning 
I’m doing KinderbyKim’s Math Wall this year which supports many core standards. Calendar is valuable, don’t be quick to give it up.
Kathleen Dawson Hartley
 We like to count how many days we’ve had in the month, and how many are left in the month. The calendar leader writes a math sentence on the board like 5<26. I like calendar time–you can incorporate money, seasons, days of the week, and so much more in just a few minutes.
Tracey Yamaguchi Matsui 
I use Bridges and it has cc alignment.
Tina Lageson
 Heather- Really you don’t like the altenate calendar pieces? I have done them for the last 2 years and my students have learned so much. I loved charting the dots. My students discovers several patterns.
Paula Louise Miller
 How about that curriculum: calendars are part of it. State adopted curriculum is chosen by DULY ELECTED members of the state board of education. Hmm, let’s see. Anyone in the. Federal education dept elected ? No. Teach the calendar !
Melissa Nichols Rump 
This may be a stupid analogy but I look at the common core as a skeleton for teaching…if you don’t add the organs, vessels, muscles, skin, etc. where’s the whole child. It may be common core…but it is not common sense teaching and that is the problem when active teachers are not involved in the planning. Just saying.
Tina Rapp Adamson 
The teachers in our district are involved in the curriculum writing tied to the CCSS – and it’s definitely enough if you’re teaching to mastery. Calendar can have its place, but make sure you’re teaching to the bulls-eye and in-depth. I am on the K math team and am hearing that teachers want to continue to teach coins, skip-counting, and other things that we have always taught, but it really isn’t necessary just because we have always done it. The majority of 5 year olds struggle with coins/skip counting…. I would rather spend my time teaching addition and subtraction fluently up to 5 because that is core number sense and will really help them in first – let them learn the more abstract concepts when they are a little older and more ready. It’s going to be an interesting year!
Jean McMullin Thompson 
Definitely continuing. Calendar is a huge part of our day. I’ve added common core skills to my promethean board flipchart as well as the I can statements from common core standards. This way we review those standards every day.
Nancy Creech
 Melissa, That would make a great bumper sticker; Common Core is not Common Sense!
Holly Bertram 
There are still so many common core standards that can be taught at calendar time… Place value, number sense, shapes. I have moved it to the afternoon math block though (right after lunch) and it seemed to work great!!  Well said Melissa! My kids completely understood base ten place value at calendar this year… They were rocking it. But then in other situations, they couldn’t transfer the concept and I truly believe its because it isn’t DAP!!
Heather Sartwell Beauregard
 Tina, the K team at my school did try the CC supplemental calendar cards and are not sold on all of them and their timing. The dots were too much early in the fall. It was easy to lose them with the chart work. It didn’t feel right! Too much too soon. We did like the bear in the box cards. The morning, afternoon and evening were good. The pattern block shapes was good for vocab and hands on learning. Whatever calendar we do end up using I thing the simple reinforcements of daily counting and sequencing is very important and valuable to students. I miss the flow that Bridges used to have. Now the Number Corner and the Daily Sessions don’t flow well. They aren’t thematically connected and it feels weird! I agree that we want to build strong counting skills and work toward a strong understanding of numbers 1-20.
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