Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take Me Out of To Calendar Time

You can take the teacher out of the public school, but sometimes it's difficult to get the public school out of the teacher.

At least Delaney is only 3, so I have lots of time to reprogram myself. :)

I had started out the year with a "calendar wall". We had the calendar, days of the week, plans for a pattern, money, counting, etc...all of the good things that go along with Calendar Time. It has been drilled and drilled into me what a great and wonderful opportunity of learning that Calendar Time is.  I had no other thoughts other than to start our day with Calendar Time, and gradually work all of the skills in, just like I have always done.

So, I had the whole wall covered with it. Our sight words were strung above, and the pocket chart ended up on the wall behind the door. It was beautiful. We used it every day.

Except when Delaney "didn't really feel like it". Or when I didn't really feel like it. Then I realized that we were running out of room on the Sight Word string, and we couldn't really use the pocket chart conveniently, because my daily supplies were on the floor in the way.

And, you know what else? I hate Calendar Time.


I know. I said it. It's terrible.

It's true, though. Honestly, I am BORED the whole time. And if I am bored, there is a pretty good chance my kid is, too. Neither of us are really paying attention - just trying to FINISH. Definitely not a productive learning experience for anyone. I used to joke when I moved from Kindergarten to Preschool that the teacher who hated doing Calendar once daily picked the ultimate torture and took a job where she got to do it twice daily, every day. I found ways to keep myself and the kids entertained both times, but I never loved it.

So why the heck did I make it my morning cornerstone when I can do whatever I want? We have all day long. I am not trying to sandwich as much as possible into my allotted 15 minutes. Why I was using so much of my limited wall space on something that we only used 15 minutes per day?

I rearranged.

The pocket chart now houses the sight words, where they are a lot more accessible and visually pleasing. The string has our "extra" words that we use a lot.

The pink ones are "words" she wrote herself.

We are actually using it to make sentences now, which is a lot of fun.

My supplies are still on the floor against the wall, but they aren't really in the way now.

I thought long and hard about the calendar, made a list of everything I could teach with it, and then a list of everything I actually wanted to teach with it.

It really came down to the fact that there are so many ways to teach all of these skills, and I would prefer to do them in more hands-on and natural ways than through a calendar routine. And I am not even going to get my teaching certificate revoked for saying that. :)

As of now, Calendar is just that. I let Delaney pick out a folder at the store to use as her "calendar folder".
I used the printable, traceable calendar on the more.Starfall site, and a weather graph from Mrs. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots (a great site for resources!).
We are using the Starfall online calendar along with the printed calendar. Delaney finds the month, the day, and  the date along with the program. She traces the number and colors the current day as we make a pattern on the calendar. We count to the date. Then, we are done.

We sing the "days of the week" and "months of the year" throughout the day, (especially during lunchtime to avoid actually eating). She can identify all of the days of the week and knows what month we are in. We sing silly counting songs and sort and match and pattern various things all day long.

I am soooo much happier during Calendar Time. I think she is too.

*This is a very interesting article regarding Calendar Math. I am glad that I am not the only one who isn't excited about this method of teaching.*

1 comment:

I'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions and ideas!


Blog Template by