Calendar in Preschool-keep it or get rid of it?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by zoey'smom, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 20, 2012

    I teach for a preschool co-op with 5 other teachers, but I also teach Kindergarten. We all teach for different school districts. Today we had a monthly meeting. One of the things we discussed was Calendar at circle time. Two of the teachers were very against it, saying it was developmentally inappropriate. The other two love it and was trying to defend why they use it. The other teacher was not there. I right now fall on the side of I like it and use it. As the Kindergarten teacher I like the idea that they are exposed to what the calendar is. I know they have no concept of time, but I still think it is a useful tool. You can teach leters, number recognition, counting, and patterns.

    I do use the calendar in Preschool and Kindergarten. What do you all think? Do you use the calendar?
     
  2.  
  3. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 21, 2012

    I taught Kinder and hopped down to Pre-K last year. I think calendar is SUPER important and developmentally appropriate. I feel that as a Pre-K teacher, it's my job to expose the kiddos to as much as possible. In Georgia, there are Kindergarten calendar standards, so I just see it as getting them ready for the next level.

    Plus, I love Calendar music!
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 21, 2012

    I think almost anything can be DAP for kindergarten and preschool - depending on how you teach it. I think exposing them to the names of the days, months, concepts of time and all of those things are part of preparing them fro kindergarten. I don't think an hour long calendar routine that focuses solely on calendar concepts is DAP. I have also found that what teachers call "calendar time" varies a lot between teachers.
     
  5. Jayneorama

    Jayneorama Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    I taught preschool (PK3, PK4, and an all-ages parent co-op) for years. Calendar is as DA as you make it. There is always benefit to counting the calendar numbers to the date, singing a days of the week song, observing and putting a sticker up to graph the observed weather outside, etc. I wouldn't ever go longer than 10 minutes, and most days it would be closer to 5, but it's definitely appropriate for three and four year olds.
     
  6. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    I agree. This is my seond year doing both pre-k and K. So I like that they were exposed to calendar last year. I also like the calendar music.
     
  7. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    Thanks for your comments. I agree on the time. My calendar time is about 10 minutes or less. We also do the weather at this time.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    On this site a few years ago, in a discussion on this topic, I learned a great trick for circle time. We were at exactly this same point in the discussion, and a preschool teacher shared that she loved to use a blotter style calendar, and then write on the calendar in front of the children.

    I loved that then and there. We bought the blotter soon after. Now we mark or specials on it at the top of the month and we mark our pattern in with markers right in front of the kids rather than just counting on a calendar shape that is pre-created.

    I have seen in some emergent or Reggio type classrooms they actually have the children make a dag depicting the days events and place that as a flag over top of the calendar square.
     
  9. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 21, 2012

    What does everyone do during calendar?

    My calendar time is 20-30 minutes. We (in order):

    -Sing/dance to Days of the week
    -Read a random string of numbers for fluency
    -Talk about today, tomorrow, yesterday
    -Count by one of these depending on where the spinner lands: 2's, 5's or 10's to a song
    -A themed based skill (this week we are dressing a bear for winter)
    -Months of the year song
    -Calendar on Starfall
    -Pattern of the day

    I do all of my calendar on the SmartBoard, so it keeps them engaged. We don't sit much during it either-I designed it so every other page we're up and moving.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 21, 2012

    Use calendar when you feel the kids are interested (and if you feel like it.) It's not a bad thing, just gets a little boring if it's done the same way everyday. The kids usually like finding and putting up the number for the day, so I usually do it with them.
     
  11. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    We don't do anything in the same order every day...we have a flow at circle, but I drop the movement pieces in as the wiggles dictate.

    We:
    Sing days of the week
    call and response/sing months through year (newly added by child interest)
    make pattern and guess what is next, find the repeat and mark it
    Sing theme directed song
    read theme intro book or Lets Find Out newspaper
    I sprinkle in finger rhymes as needed.
    Zoo phonics dance.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 21, 2012

    This is a discussion I wrestle with myself and, although I think many of the activities may have some valuable attributes, I wonder if it is really dap. The teachers at the local community college mostly say no. My principal loves my circle time and doesn't want me to stop - I wonder if there is something more valuable I could do with the time. I have seen some really bad calendar/circle times and some that were fun, etc. Is it the best use of time? I am undecided.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2012

    It is my concession to the state hopes for our new Universal Preschool. Like my post about MLK day and the Lets Find Out for the day. We have a full day/full year program....so I let it go. I must admit though that after I typed out what we did in the post above...I looked back and thought....really? I didn't know that I hit all of those things....it looked......so school district-ish! That isn't necessarily a bad thing but I had no idea we were that.....on task!
     
  14. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 21, 2012

    Oh, I agree. You can do a lot of learning objectives in a short period time, but I just keep wondering if it is actually meaningful to their lives. I only have 3 hours so, sometimes, I wonder if it is worth the time. To be honest, the admin and parents like it because it feels like kids are learning and are impressed with it more than other activities that are actually more valuable imo. The compromises we make....
     
  15. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 23, 2012

    I do calendar with my 3's. We go over what month it is, sing the days of the week song to find out what day it is, do number recognition with the date, and then count up from 1-current date. I think it's good to introduce them to the concept of calendar when they're young.
     
  16. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 24, 2012

    One of my weekly chores is Mathematician. It's this child's job to put up the next calendar marker. I find I get the most out of this process working one on one with that child first thing in the morning. So if that child is really just working on recognizing and adding to a pattern, we can really just do that. If I have an older child who is ready to work with recognizing higher numbers, or yesterday, today, tomorrow I can do that work.
    As a class we have Morning Meeting and noticing the calendar happens 2 or 3 days a week. Out of 12 students I have several who are just not able to attend to more than a few minutes of calendar work with the whole group -- but one on one they can get more out of it.
     
  17. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,002
    Likes Received:
    387

    Jan 24, 2012

    Www.starfall.com has a good interactive calendar on it. That is what I use.
     
  18. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 24, 2012

    I know that "calendar" is controversial in the field, sometimes I wonder though......was it just a line drawn in the sand by the powers that be to try and keep the PreK kids from sitting the smaller Kinder desks?

    I hear so many great ideas for how to get calendar time to be relevant for your groups....and I know that I don't read too many posts about how time is just too hard for the kids. I do read posts about how wiggling is causing disruptions but none of the responding voices seem to be saying "send them to time out and refocus" we all seem to be saying the same thing.....whole body time is important along with songs/rhymes/dances and things.

    I think we maybe doing a better job working circle time in than the powers that be realize.....however.....that said......I still worry PreK will become Jr Kinder very, very soon. At least in my state.
     
  19. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 26, 2012

    As another poster said, I'm slightly undecided if it's worth my time since I only have 2 and a half hours with them. I like the exposure, and I mostly do it because I like to have a consistent way to start the day, but I try to keep it short. We say the month, count the days and add to our pattern, sing days of the week and decide today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and decide the weather. Then we move on to the morning message, one of my favorite parts of the day. Calendar takes about 6 or 7 minutes.
     
  20. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 27, 2012

    I hated calendar, and after getting feedback from people on this site I went with a Morning Meeting with an interactive message.
    My kids are much happier I still have the calendar up and I have the kids do it as a center area, since we did a very rote version for the first part of the year they enjoy playing with it.

    I am going to try to do the blotter thing and maybe do it at the end of our day. What we did or something significant happened some sort of shared experience! Thank you for sharing!
     
  21. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 30, 2012

    What do your kids do with the calendar during centers?
     
  22. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 1, 2012

    They "play school" with the pointer and take the velcro numbers off and on. I have led an improvised small group with some of them where I would take off numbers and they had to fill in the blank with the missing numbers. Sometimes a few students will do it (they love the pointer) I even have observed one child take all the numbers off and try to put them up backwards. Oh and they love putting up the Christmas square and birthday square, I tried to put Christmas away in Jan. and they kept asking me to get it.
     
  23. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 1, 2012

    It was funny, when I did calendar during circle I was crazy about it being "teacher stuff" (because I did not want to have to replace it) and now seeing it as "kid stuff" I feel they are getting much more out of it.

    Maybe I would have gotten more if I just relaxed to begin with???
     
  24. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 1, 2012

    Yep, one thing that changing to a more emergent plan did for me was allow everything to be more "kid stuff" oriented. I never knew how much they could do be themselves before. I was really impressed with what I learned. Our circle time, is quite a bit more free flowing that the ones I see in K classes, but we hit many of the basics. Like I said in an earlier post...or maybe in a different thread, I was really proud to see we actually got SO MUCH DONE!
     
  25. pink

    pink Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 19, 2012

    I really want to jump into this conversation and add my two cents!

    I also struggled with the calendar/no calendar, is it DAP, how can I make it relevant, are my students getting anything from it, how can I make it interesting, etc. and I came up with a new idea for this school year (adapted from a book).

    Instead of doing a monthly calendar, I do a weekly calendar. We are in school Mon-Thurs so for each day I have a picture of something that happens on that day. Monday is Mat Man, Tuesday is Tunes, Wednesday is Early Release, and Thursday is Choice Day. (Most of these things happen during second circle.) For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I have a picture of a house and labeled it "Stay at Home Day". Everyday we talk about what day it is and what we do on that day of the week. We also say the month and sometimes we will mention the other days of the week. I have a check mark picture on the back of my pictures so when the day for the week is over, I turn it to the check mark side.

    What do I see my students getting out of this? They are learning the vocabulary of days and months, they are seeing that time is cyclical, they are seeing predictability in their school week, and they are showing an interest in the calendar. In preschool don't you usually start at a level lower than what students would be learning in K and reinforce those skills so that they have been mastered and could be built upon when they get to K? This is what I'm trying to do with my calendar time.

    I've done the full calendar, the counting, the patterning, etc. but now I have incorporated those skills into other things that are actually more important to the child.

    Sorry, I know everyone has their own way of doing things and I hope that none of this came across as sounding mean! I just feel like I had this internal argument for way too long and now it has been resolved and I must share it with the world! :)
     
  26. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2012

    IT is what you make of it. I use the calendar for all sorts of things. children learn SO MUCH MORE THAN TIME CONCEPT form doing clendar. They learn the dyas of the week, they larn the months, they learn that we read left to right and top to bottom, they learn to count, they learn patterns, they learn number recognition and one to one correspondence. I made my own claendar pieces and the early months of school the whole month is the same kind of piece, then later on they bcome two different colors and we begin recognizing a pattern, then I start using tow different pieces ( a flower and abee for may, a lion and almb for march etc) and they see that there are other types of patterns than jsut different colors, by the end of the eyar I am using three differet things and they expand their patterning skills. sometimes for mark I use lions and lambs with no numbers on them and they choose which one they want to use by how it corresponds with the weather. (we discuss lion days and lamb days ) and we count how many of each there are and which ahs more/less etc. I have the children tell me the name of the month and spell it (letter recognition), same with the days of the week. They learn to predict by telling me what tomorrow will be . I w ould not get rid of it. If someone thinks it's boring and inappropirate and seems useless then maybe what needs to change is the way it's used.
     
  27. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    11

    Sep 26, 2012

    I'd like to bring this post back up, if that is OK with everybody. I am currently in grad school, and I am doing a paper on the developmental appropriateness of calendar time in preschool.

    It seems that through my research, the experts are really insisting that children are not "learning" the days of the week, months, etc. through calendar time. Although preschoolers may be able to recite the days, and even answer questions about yesterday, today and tommorow, most of them are just parroting those responses - so say the researchers.

    But I know that as a teacher, I love calendar time. I also feel that the children love it, and parents/administrators feel it is an important part of an early childhood classroom. It is what is "expected" by us. So it's not easy to change. But, I also want to do what is in the best interests of my students. If my research leads me to believe that there is a better way to use the calendar, that's what I will do.

    Just to add a note: my paper is not questioning the validity of morning meeting/circle time, but specifically using the calendar to teach "math."

    Also, I truly am not trying to incite a heated argument here. I know that people are really divided on this one. But I have read all the comments, and I guess I just wanted to see if anyone else has decided to abandon calendar math in early childhood. And if you have read all the research and are still doing calendar math, tell me why. Often times teachers in the field know more than the experts, so please let me know what you think!
     
  28. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2012

    I know they are not going to understand the today-tomorrow concept but I think calendar is very good for teaching patterns and numbers. The calendar I used always had a different pattern for each month. September was red/green apples and they learned the AB pattern and it changed each month. Whether they get it or not it doesn't hurt for them to be exposed to the concepts. I also think they can learn letters from the calendar--like September starts with S. My philosophy has always been to expose them to as much as possible--whether they all get it or not.
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2012

    Did I use calendar----yes

    Did I like calendar -----yes

    Did I think it was the only way to teach these topics....No

    If your paper was about math at circle, I would have to say there are many group things one could do that would work on math. One of our favorite things to do was to graph new food tastes at snack time and then read back the graph and post it in the parent binder at the end of the day.

    Patterns can be done with tray work....or just in free play if your children really respond well.

    I loved calendar, but it was what I was used to. I am unaware of folks disliking the whole morning meeting sans calendar but I would imagine there are some. I think calendar and the songs are as valid as anything else one could do in a group. I felt that they would see calendar at the kinder room so it was unfair to not expose them. I did see kids do free math or solve questions for themselves with calendar as a number grid...so......? Did that help?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. futuremathsprof,
  3. TeacherNY,
  4. Backroads,
  5. txmomteacher2,
  6. Eric Matyas
Total: 696 (members: 7, guests: 668, robots: 21)
test