It’s time for another link-up! This time I am linking up with **Sharing Kindergarten’s** **Calendar Linky Party**.

My first year teaching first grade I had the traditional bulletin board calendar like a lot of teachers still have. I hated it. I hated the little straws and cubes and changing everything out and the whole thing. I think calendar time is a very important part of the school day (and a big portion of my required math time) so I didn’t want to/couldn’t just abandon it completely. I was fortunate to get a SmartBoard the second half of my first year teaching and once I got it I began looking for a SmartBoard based calendar math file to use. I found several great ones online but none of them really fit my needs or my grade level standards. I decided to create my own!

I previously posted about my **Calendar Math routine here** but I will run down it again.

I do Calendar Math **first thing** in the morning. The students come in, put their things away, and sit on the carpet for Calendar Math. (If I’m using an attendance check-in on the SmartBoard I have that up and they check-in and then sit on the carpet.)(Sometimes we do a bit of morning work before calendar math.) I’ve done Calendar Math at different times of the day before but to me it just makes the most sense to do it first thing since we discuss the date and the day of the week. I think it’s important for students to know about the day at the beginning of the day and not half way through the day.

Before the actual calendar math, we go over our school/classroom rules, school expectations, and bus expectations. These are not included in my calendar math files for sale, but you could easily add them for yourself.

My school adopted the whole brain teaching rules last school year to provide consistency among grade levels and the entire school. I added the posters I made to the first page of my calendar math. You tap a faded out rule and it fades in and we recite the rule together with gestures. (**The posters are available for free here.**)

Here are our school wide PBIS expectations we read every day.

Here are our district PBIS bus expectations.

**Morning Message** – I added a page with handwriting lines at the beginning of my calendar math so I can add a morning message to my students. I use this space to go over writing sentences, grammar, spelling words, etc.

**Spell the Month Song** – Every day we sing our month of the year song. The songs help the students learn how to spell the name of the month. Each song is different. I found the songs in various places on the internet. Some I tweaked and a couple I wrote myself. The kids love learning a new song every month. At the beginning of the month when I sing and introduce the song they’re always like, “That’s a hard song! We can’t sing that!” But after a couple of days they’re pros.

**Monthly Calendar** – Students add the number for the date daily. I ask questions about the calendar. (What’s the date of the 1st Tuesday?” What will the date be in four days? etc.)

**What’s the Date? –** After adding the date to the monthly calendar we then discuss yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I also refer to this as before and after because my students get that mixed up a lot. We also write the date with hyphens and slashes.

**Days in School** – We

**Building Numbers **– We tap the up arrow until we get to the number that represents how many days we’ve been in school. Then students build that number using place value blocks.

**Pattern of the Day** – Students tap the dice and it tells them what sort of pattern to make (AB, ABC, etc.). They use the images to make a pattern. The kids LOVE seeing what the new pictures will be for the month.

**Odd and Even** song (again, not sure where these originally came from. I’ve found them in a couple of places). We sing this one every day too.

**Odd and Even** chants and blocks – students add a block each day so they can see how even numbers have a partner and odd ones do not.

**Telling time **– students write the digital and analog times they are told. We start off with time to the hour, then half hour, and later we go over elapsed time. The picture is from my May calendar math file. I re-did the clocks to make them look more like the type of clocks students see on the MAP assessment.

**Weather graph **– we tap a gray box to mark our weather for the day. I ask all sorts of questions here like “How many more rainy days than sunny days?”

**Skip Counting** – Students roll the dice. It tells us how to count (by 2′s, 5′s, 10′s) and we tap the numbers on the hundreds chart as we count. (We do count to 120 when counting by 5’s and 10’s.)

**Comparing Numbers** – Students tap random number generators. They decide if the number is greater than, less than, or equal to the other number and choose the correct symbol and circle the correct phrase. If you tap the alligator, you might get a surprise! (He growls!)

**Fact Families** – I give the students 3 numbers and they write the addition and subtraction sentences for the fact family. Later on in the year I fill in some of the blanks and the students have to fill in the missing numbers. (This is something they have to do on the MAP assessment.)

**Add it Up** – Students roll the two dice and add the numbers together.

**Money** – We use the number of the date and create that number using coins. We write the money amount with a cent symbol and a dollar sign. (For example – May 30th we would make 30 cents.)

**Money Poems** – Students tap beside a coin and the money poem appears.

**Quarter Song **– We practice counting by 25′s by singing this song. I usually draw some quarters on this page (like a whole bunch of them) and then we sing the song to count the quarters.

**Super Problem** – I write a “big” math problem for the students. We add numbers in the hundreds, thousands, even millions! We talk about how to add one column at a time.

**Expanded Form** – Students tap the random number generator and the arrow. It gives us a number in standard form. We write it in expanded form.

**Birthday Graph** – Each student adds a present to their birth month on their birthday.

**Tooth Graph** – Students add a tooth when they lose one to the correct month.

I have enough pages/things to do so that every student gets a turn (some get two turns). I use popsicle sticks to draw names at random. (Sometimes it’s not so “random.” If I get to a page with a skill that I know someone is struggling with I call that person and pretend I got their stick. One time I had this student move in later in the year and the school she came from had not taught fact families yet and we already had. I had her do the fact family page every day until she got it. The whole class would encourage her and cheer her on when she did it correctly. It was great!)

The students LOVE Calendar Math and if we aren’t able to get to it for some reason (assemblies, etc.) they get upset and beg for us to do it at a different time.

TIP!Here’s aGREATtip for using a SmartBoard if you didn’t already know. Selecting and dragging items around on a SmartBoard can be tricky for little ones. There’s nothing more annoying then hearing those little fingers squeak all over the board. Have them use a tennis ball instead! Touch the tennis ball (in the picture above the students are using the little balls that go on the legs of our chairs) to the SmartBoard and move items around with ease!

If you’d like to try out my calendar math, **August is free on my Teachers Pay Teachers** and **Teachers Notebook** stores. **All of the other 11 months are available to purchase.** Don’t have a SmartBoard but do have a projector? **You can download the SmartNotebook Interactive Viewer and STILL use my calendar math!**

Yailet Martin says

I love this! I actually have a Smart board and have been wanting to do this for a while, but I have a few concerns. What do you do if the smart board breaks or malfunctions? Do you still keep one traditional calendar to refer to throughout the day if needed?

Mrs. Magee says

I have had my SmartBoard for about five years and I have never had an issue with it. I had a projector issue once. If something comes up I usually just do more traditional math morning work. We still discuss the day of the week, date, etc. but we just practice our math skills in a morning work format instead. I do usually have some type of monthly calendar hanging in the room somewhere as a reference for students.

Krista Cantrell says

My SmartBoard has never broken, or if there’s been a day where the computer was messed up or somehting, we skipped it for that day — but the board itself has never been an issue 🙂

Yailet Martin says

Thank you! I guess this will be the year where I’ll take the leap! 🙂

Jennifer Gibbons says

Love, love your whole routine! We also do calendar electronically but it’s with a Mimio. It turns our plain white board into a Smart board of sorts. I’ve tried it both ways, on the wall, with pocket charts, and on the Mimio. The last is definitely my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer

Teaching with Grace

Mrs. Magee says

I only save the pages that I need to continue the next day (I hope that makes sense). So, I don’t do anything to the monthly calendar, the birthday and tooth graphs, weather graph, days in school, and the odd and even page. I “clear” the other pages (you can do this by right clicking on anywhere on the page and selecting clear). When you clear the building numbers page the counter stays set to the number an only the blocks are erased. On the pattern page I have to click each picture and press delete on my keyboard. I then save the file so it’s ready for the next day!

Krista Cantrell says

This makes so much sense! I didnt realize you could clear a single page. Defintiely heading to your store now 🙂