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Teaching Calendar

  • 1.  Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-14-2021 11:29 AM
    The center I am at requires us to teach the calendar to our preschoolers, I have never been a fan of teaching this concept to such young children. For this reason I am having a hard time finding a good way to teach it. Currently I have a linear calendar and we sing the months of the year and the days of the week. At this point I'm open to any ideas or suggestions.  Thanks

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    Tiffany Myers
    Lead Teacher
    Ymca
    Franklin PA
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  • 2.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-14-2021 01:24 PM
    I'm glad you bring this up! As an infant and toddler teacher, I didn't have to include this in my daily routine. However, I always saw and knew that the preschool classroom implemented this. Below is an article I found, when I was trying to find some resources. For me, it gives a great explanation of alternative focus and examples/information of what might be happening in the class. I hope this helps..
    https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/pubs/calendartime.pdf

    Interesting thing that stood out to me was using the calendar as a way to focus on other concepts not necessarily memorizing or grasping the days of the week, but more so about patterns or sequences.

    Can't wait to see more ideas!

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    Mary Samour
    Online Community Manager
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
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  • 3.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-15-2021 01:08 AM
    I have used the calendar as a tool for teaching concepts like before, after, next, today, yesterday, and tomorrow.  We use it for recall -- i.e. what happened yesterday, and to make predictions.  Of course, there is number recognition, patterning, and other great concepts.  I think we can get too caught up in the concern for its appropriateness.  In reality, I think most kids like the predictability of this classroom ritual.

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    Mary Kay Scanlon
    Program Director
    Holy Trinity Early Educaqtion Center
    Lenexa, KS
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  • 4.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-15-2021 07:46 AM
    I went back to a modified calendar a couple of years ago to help a little one who was having terrible separation anxiety. "Do I have to come to school tomorrow?" was a repeated refrain. I cut the top strip off a premade calendar, and customized it with our typical schedule of days, with only one week was represented. I clearly marked no-school days with circles with lines through (the universal symbol for 'no'), and glued small photos of our school on school days, X-ing them off as we finished, marking the current day with a magnet. I incorporated it into our morning message using the name of the day of the week as an alliteration lesson, adding an icon if there was something out of the ordinary happening that day, such as a house icon if a day would be an additional 'home day'. It has worked well and helped the child, too. I just refer them to the calendar if they have questions about the next day.

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    Jackie Dziedziula
    Berkley MI
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  • 5.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-15-2021 07:04 PM
    I have been using "Home Day/School Day (and now school at home day) visual calendars. That is what is important to the children. They just want to know where they are going to be so they know what to do. The visual calendar helps them process the expectation. They can count how many school days until the home days. And it takes the parent and teacher out of the bad guy role. "I understand that you don't want to go to school today. It's hard to do things when we don't want to. Sometimes I don't want to go to work. But the calendar says it is a school day, so you have to go to school and I have to go to work." The visual daily schedule works much the same way with letting the children count the pictures until lunch/outside/ time to go home/etc. It makes the abstract concept of time more concrete and understandable for them.

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    Angela Griffin
    self
    Wilson NC
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  • 6.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-16-2021 10:07 AM
    I too have struggled with the monotony of doing calendar time with young children for a long time.  A few years ago in this very platform, someone suggested using a typical "desk top" paper calendar and following the idea of "recall time" from HighScope.  I have used this way of doing calendar time for a few years now and it has transformed calendar time and made it more meaninigful to the kids.  We now do calendar time at the end of the day.  We still sing the days of the week and practice saying the full date aloud, but now I also ask for their input on what to draw in the box on the calendar for that day, hence "Recall Time."  It is a nice way to review the activities, stories, skills, and and other interesting or fun things that happened that day.  For example, the one day upon the kid's suggestions, I drew a letter P in the calendar box (our letter for the week), a sun (the weather of the day), a paintbrush (because we painted), and a little fire (because we had a fire drill).  Everything I draw is based on what the kids recall from the day.  They enjoy thinking of things for me to draw and it also helps them then tell their families at pick up time what happened that day at school.  I also leave this desk top calendar out during play time and the kids love looking back at previous days and using it to count the days to future birthdays,holidays, or "no school" days.  So in addition to learning the days and months, they are actually USING the calendar to record events, thus helping them form an understanding of the passage of time.

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    Susan Swiderek
    Pre-K Teacher
    Canton MI
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  • 7.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-17-2021 11:26 AM
    I love everything about this approach Susan  and I think it would be great if more teachers could learn about it. I'd like to encourage you to write an article about it and submit it to early childhood publications.

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    Margery Heyl
    Chicago IL
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  • 8.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-17-2021 10:24 PM
    I love this idea!

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    Tiffany Myers
    Lead Teacher
    Ymca
    Franklin PA
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  • 9.  RE: Teaching Calendar

    Posted 01-16-2021 11:30 AM
    Many years ago, when I was the faculty teacher in a lab child development center, and I was learning about the project approach, I decided to approach the calendar from that perspective.  I asked the children for their ideas about what a calendar is, who uses a calendar, how would we use a calendar, how would we make our own calendar, etc.  If you aren't familiar with the project approach, here is a good start:  http://projectapproach.org/

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    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
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