Calendar Math FAQs

I am asked about my Calendar Math more than anything else I blog about.  Because of that, I thought I would put together an FAQ section for you all...just in case you had some similar questions.

How do you choose the numbers for the calendar?
I ALWAYS use the date, or some combination of it.  I feel like that keeps it consistent and within the concept of "calendar math".  I do manipulate the numbers a bit so that the students aren't always using the same.exact.numbers each day, but I don't ever pull in numbers that don't appear in the date in some way.  Here are a few examples from the pages I already started to write for next year.
This is the geometry/area and perimeter sheet.  At the beginning of the year, it is area and perimeter.  You can see that I use the numbers of the date in some way here.  I do NOT make it to scale.  The kids just get used to that.  As the year progresses, it becomes the "Geometry" sheet because I put triangles, drawing other shapes, etc...but the numbers do still come from the date.
Pay particular attention to the Big Number.  Do you see that I have inserted a decimal?  Also, for the Mean/Mode section, I have combined the 2 and 0 to make 20, instead of separating them.

By changing the decimal place, the entire number and what they have to do with it changes.  Also, the Mean/Mode again has changed.  I totally dropped the 20, part this time.  (but it still is the date 8/28/12...do you see that?)
Do you do anything different for the different grade levels?
Yes and no.  Yes, the standards change so the actual math changes.  But no, I don't change the format or the "calendarness" of it.  So even though I am teaching 5th grade right now, if I were to suddenly go to 4th grade next year, the entire calendar idea wouldn't change.  Just the actual standards. (and really, so many of the key standards are the same across the grade levels that it really does look similar in all the upper grades)

What about COPIES????
I have done this calendar many, many different ways.  I currently write the sheets you see above a week or so beforehand (ok, sometimes I do it the day of ;) ) I then copy them back to back for each of my students so that they get a packet of 3 pieces of paper with the sheets for the entire week stapled together.  In the past, I have just copied blank sheets for the students and given them the packet for the week on Monday.  this actually saved ME time in thinking of the numbers ahead of time.  I could just put them up on the wipeoff boards the day of.  But I found that it was taking the kids a really long time copying the information and they weren't spending the time actually doing the math.  I found the time spent by me ahead of time filing them in was worth it.

What about a NOTEBOOK so I don't need COPIES??
I have done this as well.  I would just put the numbers up on the wipeoff boards and the kids would copy them into a notebook.  This was fine but I found that since it was in a notebook, and it wasn't being turned in for checking each week like the packets are, the kids just weren't doing as good of a job.  This is probably my fault, as I wasn't as on top of the "accountability" portion of it with a notebook as I am with the sheets.  For me, sheets work better. But if a notebook works good for you, it is 100% doable.

How long does this all take?
In the beginning of the year, it does take a long time to do.  Training the students is a bit of work...but it is so worth it in the end.  Overall, once the kids are in the swing of things, the students take about 10 minutes to work alone on the sheet, then another 10 to 15 minutes to go over it.

Where do you go over it?
I have a rug in my classroom (that I LOVE!) and I call my students up to the rug to go over it.  I have movable boards and it works great with this set up.  Some of my colleagues have simply put the Calendar sheet up on the document camera and gone over it from there.  Still others have a dedicated board, but the kids just sit at their own seat.  There hasn't been any issue with people seeing that I am aware of.  

Can I get an editable copy of the calendar?
YES!!!  I just made one for you for 5th grade and 4th grades and 3rd grade!!!

Now, if you look above, you will see that I have handwritten each of the numbers into the calendar.  This editable version is NOT for inputting the numbers. Even I don't know how to do that!  What this version is for is so that you can tailor make the calendar to your specific state/common core standards.  Since this is based on what I personally have to do, I know it isn't 100% exact for your state.  The text boxes on the editable version can easily be changed to make them more specific for you.  It is $3.00 for my work, but there are 3 different versions of the sheet in each of the packets for you to customize.

Here are the previous posts about Calendar, where you can pick up your free copy of the sheets, as well as see a video about it all!

What questions do you have???

32 comments

  1. Thank you. This was just what I was looking for. I think it is interesting that math calendars are your FAQ.

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  2. Do you have any calendar materials already created for 2nd graders?
    Storie
    atozscrapbook@gmail.com
    Stories by Storie

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  3. I'm interested in what you do in the geometry section I saw on your previous posts.

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    1. I added a picture of the Geometry section onto the FAQs. Thanks for mentioning it :)

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  4. Great price! I have it in my cart and look forward to purchasing it. The calendar math video you made earlier in the year was fantastic!

    Selina

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  5. I am looking forward to starting this with my 4th graders next year. Since moving up from primary, calendar time is something I miss.

    My question is where do you and your students go over it? Do they sit in the floor or at their desks? I'm thinking of putting the set up on a tri fold display board so it's movable, but don't know how easy it is to see from farther away in desks.

    Thanks!

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    1. I added this to the FAQs! Thanks for asking it!!

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  6. Do you make copies of these for all students to do? If so, do they do it ahead of time or as you go along?

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    1. I answered this up above now. Thank you for asking!

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  7. I stumbled on your blog through the FB party and really love your calendar math idea! I will definitely be coming back to read past posts as well. Thanks for the ideas.

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  8. Just gave you the “One Lovely Blogger Award” because I always enjoy reading your posts.
    April @ The Idea Backpack

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    1. Thank you April! That is very sweet of you :)

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  9. You know I am a huge fan of your calendar math program. I have it set up to go on my smart board for next year so I don't write it every morning on the whiteboard. (I have a feeling I will like the traditional whiteboard better. I love the idea of your editable version because with NY State's common core so much is changing for us.

    Thank You!

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    1. If I had a Smartboard, I am thinking that is the way to go...cuts back on copies a lot I would think!

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  10. Love your calendar math resources. I have never tried calendar math, but I'm moving down to fourth this year(from fifth)and I think this would be a great way to reinforce many of those skills they need to master before fifth grade. About how long does it take each day to review the calendar?

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    1. It takes about 10 minutes for them to fill in the sheet (as they become proficient at it...the beginning of the year is always more) and then between 10 - 15 minutes to review (again, as the year goes on, the time shortens)

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  11. Finally sat down at a computer (instead of the iPad or Nook) to purchase this! So glad it did, Stephanie. Can't wait to put it into practice next year.

    Happy 4th :)

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

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  12. Stephanie,
    I am going to be starting my first year of teaching as a 4th grade teacher (all of my training is in middle school math so I am a bit overwhelmed!). I am absolutely loving your blog and have almost read all of it over the past 2 days! Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas. I do have one questions about Calendar Math. I think it's a great idea and a fun way to get kids reviewing, reviewing, reviewing. The only thing I don't understand (and maybe I'm just being dim), is if you start off the year with students working through the entire worksheet (even the stuff they don't yet know?) or if you add concepts to the worksheet as you teach them. I'm excited to try this, I just want to make sure I'm doing it in the most effective way. Thanks!!!

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    1. I add the stuff in over the course of the first two weeks of school. The students start slow, with a few things each day...and by the end of the first few weeks, they have it all.

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  13. This is great! Thanks for sharing it. Definitely using your calendar math from now on! I really liked the hand motions in your video. Do you have any more resources regarding using hand motions?

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  14. I am a follower of your blog and love "borrowing" your ideas!
    I started using this in my 4th grade the last 2 months of the last school year. LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing this and the other GREAT ideas on your blog! I have a smart board and will be attempting to put it up. Any suggestions?

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    1. I have NO idea how to use a smart board....so when you figure it out, you will have to come back and repot (in case I ever enter the 21st century and get one ;) )

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  15. I love your calendar math and I bought your editable version on TPT. Do you happen to have a completed page that I could see? Many of the pieces are self explanatory, but I'm not sure what you want the kids to do in other boxes. Do you just make up an equation for that section? What are they doing on the daily division or multiplication? Is the SF, EF, WF for standard form, extended form, and word form? For the fraction, do you always do it with 100 or do you change it to the actual number of days in the school year? Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to get it all straight in my head. Thanks again!

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    1. I am actually creating a video today showing you how to fill out the form :) So that will be up this week. But to answer your questions:

      For the equation, I make something up using the date numbers for the x and y values on the T-Chart.

      The Daily division and multiplication, I use the date numbers to create problems for the students to solve. For example, today they could do 22 divided by 7 or 7.22 x 12 or something. Anything using the date numbers in any combination.

      SF = standard form
      EF = expanded form
      WF = word form
      (and this comes from the date all combined, so todays standard form would be 7,222,012 and the kids have to write the expanded and word forms)

      For the fraction of the day, I always use the 100. Then when we get to day 101 and beyond, the kids are working with mixed numbers.

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  16. Do you do this every day of the week or just a few days? I love the idea, but if it takes 20 minutes altogether every math class, I would run out of time

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    1. I do this every day of the week. I never miss it. It is important enough in my math instruction that if something else needs to go, something else goes.

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  17. I think your calendar math is great! I bought the TPT version and have read all your posts, but still have a couple questions. What do you do with the number line? Your filled out examples have numbers plotted- is that what you write on the sheet for the students or do they plot the numbers? Also, you mentioned that you start the year with area and perimeter but then switch to other shapes. Do you mean that you ask the students to find area/perimeter of those shapes? Thanks for your help.

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  18. Nevermind, I think I figured it out from your pictures. I am loving calendar math! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I am really seeing good things from using your Calendar Math these first 8 weeks of school (5th grade)! My question is about the Level 3 page, particularly the Intriguing Integers and Simply Simplifying sections. What do you do there? I must say, the number line has been fantastic--I have labeled the far ends with, say, 12 and 15, and given them three or four points to plot that require them to not only divide the segment to mark 13 and 14, but also some decimal points as well. It blew their minds at first, but they've got it now! Thank you for such a great tool!

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    1. Intriguing Integers is just work with adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers. So I might put 10 - 15, or -10 + -15 in there (or any combination of the date numbers with pos/neg signs.)

      Simply Simplifying is where I make a fraction with the date (ie: 10/15) and they have to simplify it, showing the factors, listing the GCF, etc... If there isn't an "easy" fraction to be made, ie Jan 7 would be 1/7, I ask them to make two equivalent fractions on that day.

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