Calendar in the Primary Grades

I'm super excited to be teaming up with the ultra-talented bright ideas group again this month to bring you another round of inspiring ideas to take back to your classroom! I hope you're finding lots of things you can use as you make your way through all of the awesome posts!

Today, I want to share a little about how I use calendar time in my classroom.

Calendar is one of my favorite times of the day and with the recent shift to common core, I became very disheartened when I heard from many teachers saying they weren't doing calendar anymore because it's not "common core." While there may not be a specific standard in the common core that states to do calendar, you can meet SOOOOOOO many standards by having a well thought out calendar time, and I am a huge advocate of keeping a calendar time in the the lower grades. {It's also a social studies standard in many states, including Florida, where I teach}. Here's an wide view of what my calendar looks like {it's in the front of my room in front of my group rug}.

After morning work, where my kids do a quick review activity page and I check folders, do attendance, etc., we come to the rug and start our day with calendar. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but after 10 years, I HAVE to start my day this way! The first thing we talk about is the date. We turn over the card with the big number for the date at the bottom, then we decide what pattern piece we need for the day. Yes, I know patterns aren't common core, but it doesn't hurt to be able to repeat a pattern ;).  At this point, we also use the calendar to answer questions such as, "What day of the week was April 3?," or "How many Fridays have we had in April?" {As a side note, on the first day of each month, we write any important dates on the calendar so I don't have to be asked a million times when the field trip is!}.
Next, we discuss what day of the week it is, what day it was yesterday, and what tomorrow will be. This is a great opportunity to teach those positional words {before, after}!
Then, we use money to make the number of the date {this is not a kinder CC standard, but we just do it for exposure and it's great for working on counting on} and then we use base ten blocks to determine how many days we've been in school. This has helped my kids so much this year go beyond the kindergarten base ten standard of just using base ten for teen numbers.
Probably my most favorite aspect of our calendar is our ten frames. Each day, we add a dot to make the amount on the ten frame match our number for the date. I start by asking how many we have, then continue by asking if we put one more, how many do we have. We also determine how many more we need to make 10, 20, or 30 and once the date gets past ten, we talk about how we have a group of ten and so many more. It is an awesome number sense activity each day!
The last two parts of our calendar are tally marks {just to work on another way to make a number} and our weather graph. The graph is great for a quick review of more/less/equal.
We finish up by singing the days of the week and months of the year, which is also not necessarily a CC standard, but it's definitely a life skill!
I hope that if you're not currently implementing a calendar time, you'll reconsider next year. In just a few minutes, you can get in some great math vocabulary, number sense activities, and hit some social studies standards!
If you would like to see more ideas from my classroom, be sure to follow me on Instagram {I post there a lot!} and Facebook!
Now, be sure to check out the amazing bright ideas below. I'm sure you'll find lots to help finish your year on a high note!


  1. Your calendar time is almost exactly like mine!! I think I will add the ten frames for next year! And P.S. Calendar is also one of our social studies standards and we actually just did a lesson on it today ;)

  2. I love your calendar time set covers a lot but isn't too much! Where do you get the clips for your calendar and what are they called? I've been looking for some but I'm not sure what to call them! Thanks!

    Lesson Plans & Lattes

    1. Hi Becky,
      I got the clips at a teacher supply store. They're called sticky clips :)

  3. This was inspiring to read, thank you! Last year was my third year teaching kindergarten after having taught 2nd, and I was a bit confused by the common core shift in math, and wasn't sure how to integrate calendar time. I love how you set up your calendar time, will have to try some of your ideas next year!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I love your bulletin board and appreciate how you explained your calendar routine. I am a new teacher starting kindergarten in August, and will be writing down your routine to follow! I have been looking for an alternative to the unsightly pocket chart, and am so happy to learn about the sticky clips! So much cuter!

  5. Where did you get the cute pockets for the days of the week (today tomorrow and yesterday)? Also are the numbers laminated strips of paper? Love the entire set up! Thanks.

  6. Loved this post and all the pictures! Would love to replicate for my new first grade classroom! Are you willing to share the file for you big numbers and patterns pieces (days of week and yesterday / today / tomorrow)....please!! :-) Thanks so much!

  7. Love it all! When you make the number on the tens frame, do you count the weekend days when you come back on Monday?

  8. This is a great post and just what I needed to redo my calendar center. What did you use to hang up your calendar pieces? I've been looking for them, but I think having the name and where you got them at would help.

  9. i LOVE how you write on the calendar for the month! I mean... duh! so simple! lol


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