It did the trick for the past 3 years but I found it too basic. And to be honest, I found it frustratiing at times because the children didn't have much room to manoeuvre when they were placing the picures in the slots (I am currently re-designing our book corner at the moment to allow for more freedom of movement - this is where we have our calendar and where we do our circle times). So I checked several blogs to see what had been done (see here or here). I took everything I saw into account and created my own version to fit the needs of our classroom. And I came up with this:
I used the biggest cork board I could find. I also used a laminator (my best friend!!!), double sided tape, self-adhesive velcro tape, coloured paper and a bit of imagination!!
So, what have we got? Well, first, the days of the week.
To teach the children about the passage of time, we first go through the names of each day (see my post on circle time right here). To make it even clearer, I added little laminated pockets for each day of the week. When the children have recognised which day it is "today", one of them shall use the little wooden marker you can see above and place it in the appropriate pocket. I always remind children of the concepts of "yesterday" and "tomorrow" but I do it verbally. I don't want to confuse them with more markers.
I also have a calendar on the board to represent the current month. I am using templates created by The Daycare Resource Connection. The calendar will obviously be changed monthly and will represent a different theme each time (for instance, we will probably have pumpkins decorating the sheet for October, hearts for February etc..). Again, to clearly represent the passage of time and reinforce the children's knowlege of numeracy, we will be placing a sticker on the current date (a red circle).
As usual, we will be talking about the weather and use our little song for it (listen to the children singing here). But I have also found these cute little songs on 1+1=1 and I am defintely going to introduce them in our routine next September. It is a great way to familiarise the kids with letters and this type of pre-literacy exercises are more than welcome during circle time.
We also always talk about what type of clothes we wear according to the current weather. The children love this part of our routine.
It took me quite a while to make these weather and clothes cards but if you are interested, just leave me a comment and I will email them to you. I tried to leave a link on this post but for some reason, it wouldn't allow me (technology, eh??!!). Each card is laminated and has velcro on the back.
Something I am introducing into our circle time routine will be the Letter / the shape/ the number of the week. I am currently working on a schedule for them and creating my own little cards to use in connection with our calendar/board. I will keep you updated on these. I have never done this before but I believe this really would benefit the children. I have done my research and there are lots of variations on teaching a letter/ a number or a shape a week to preschool children.Montessori for Everyone.
I will teach what the lower case letter looks like (and only the lower case letter), and what sound it makes. I will use a pack of letter and picture cards to work with as we learn each letter. For number, I will use cards with dots (like dots on a dice) and cards with 5 ducks, or 8 apples, or 2 elephants. You get my drift. Same principles for the shape. I will be using cards with everyday items fitting the shape: a sun, a ball, and a wheel to represent a circle. Etc..
And finally, we'll talk about the phase of the moon. Our last project on the soalr system proved to be so popular that I know the children will love learning about the moon too. I got the cards from
That's it for tonight. I am aware how long this post is and I hope I was clear enough in my explanations. Part 2 is coming soon so keep checking our blog for more details on our classroom calendar. Thanks for reading!