I have posted several times on how disastrous my calendar time is. I feel like the students aren't getting anything out of it, and it is a dreadful way to start the day because I feel like I have to fuss at them the whole time. I know several have posted on how the Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting book has helped, and I plan on reading that over Christmas break. I just feel like they need to be "doing" something instead of watching the calendar helpers (changed daily) do it all. For those of you that use the individual calendar notebooks, do you find them helpful? Do the kids get more out of it? Can you post the sheets you use or pictures of them? Thanks!

Honestly, I stopped doing calendar for that reason. It was ridiculous. Now, I have it posted on my bulletin board next to the door, with the "today, tomorrow, yesterday" sign, a pocket chart for place value (days of school), and a spot for our "word of the week." The kids see it every time they line up, and that's plenty. We do enough with tally marks and money every day at our seats, so I figured they weren't missing much by doing away with calendar. It's one of the best things I've ever done!

I would love to do away with it, but unfortunately I am required to do it. We use Investigations for our math series and there's a whole morning meeting we have to go through including: calendar, yesterday/today/tomorrow, a weather graph, days of school place value, reading the schedule, and counting on a number line. The kids get so bored because they did the same thing in Kindergarten. I tried to incorporate moves from Brain Gym while we were reading things, but that didn't really seem to help either. I'm just getting so frustrated with it!

I have minimized the time I spend on calendar activities, but feel I have maximized the relevance and meaning of the calendar.
Used to have all of the calendar numbers turned face down, and turn one over each day. But really, what calendar in the real world looks like that? Now I have all numbers showing, one color for school days and a different color for non-school days. We place a small arrow on 'today', so now kids can easily see how many days of school are left in the week or month; how many days off we have this month; how many long weekends, etc. We also place a small label on special days: birthdays, field trips, family events, etc. When I started this, I was amazed at the conversations that kids immediately started: "Hey, look there are only three more days until his birthday. Hey, that's close to our field trip. Hey, last month we had less days off. I wonder how many birthdays there will be next month?" Best case scenario would be to keep the calendar up from all of the previous months, so the kids could look back and make comparisons, but I don't have the wall space.
Went to a wonderful workshop a few years ago with a master teacher who explained that there are other opportunities during the day to learn about repeating patterns, place value, counting, and number order. Calendar serves a different purpose: to expose children to the relevance and usefulness of calendar to our daily lives: it is a planning tool, a timekeeper, a marker of our events.
My frustrations over calendar time are over!

I give each student a file folder with a calendar on one side, and a weather graph on the other side. I photocopy the calendar each month from "Mailbox" magazine. Each day, they have to write the date (number o nly) on the caldendar for the corresponding day and they also write in the weather (Sun, Cloud, Rain drop, Snowflake, Squiggly line for Windy). On the weather graph they color in a rectangle for the weather that day. We use these graphs to compare the # of rainy, cloudy, sunny etc..days. We also discuss the concept of how many more, how many less, greatest, and least. Each month I staple the new calendar over the previous month so we can look back each month and see how the weather has changed.

I think calendar time/morning meeting is vital in my classroom. My kids begin by greeting each other. I do have a calendar helper; however, this helper calls on other children to answer ?'s. I have the whole month set up and I ask ?'s like: "What day will it be in one week?" "What was the date three days ago?" "Who can tell us which month comes two months after February?"... I also ask how may longs and cubes are in the number of the day and I do "Mystery Number" by drawing longs and cubes on the board. The kids love this! I also have a money poem that they recite before adding a penny to the piggy bank. We sing "What's the weather song?" and rap to "What time is it?" The kids in my class love morning meeting and I truly believe that a lot of learning takes place each and every morning.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I do the same calendar activities as any other teacher. Days in a week, months in a year, yesterday was, today is, tomorrow will be. Skip counting by 2's, 5's, 10's ( within the next few weeks each student will make a skip counting book that they will use daily to practice skip counting) they will color in the 100 chart the correct numbers for skip counting by 2's, 5's, 10's (each on a separate page). This book will be called "Skip Counting Book". It takes a while for each student to make but have found it to work well. It is also something they can use when they finish work early or to quiz their classmates.

I make my calendar time very simple and to the point. My kids had calendar in kindergarten and their teacher spent at least 15-20 minutes doing calendar time activities, so I figure, why even bother? They know everything, and are BORED with the same old routines. I figure I can increase my math time if I make my calendar time short and sweet. I have a calendar helper that puts the date up on the calendar, writes the date, and adds a stick to the place value chart and adds a tally for the number of days we have been in school. We go over that very quickly as a class, and then we do the money part together. I read a fun fact for the day (we are counting up to the 100th day of school be reading a fun fact each day). My weather watcher does the weather (puts up the words and fills in the graph/table). Then, we say what the weather is like together. All in all, it takes 5 minutes or less. I felt like all I was doing was managing behaviors during this time, and my kiddos weren't getting anything out of it.

When i moved to first grade three years ago, I hated calendar time because it was like you said one child was doing everything and the rest was behavior management. I do calendar binders. Each child has one and together with the helper they record the day, color the pattern, record the weather and answer graphing questions about the weather, record the number of days we have been in school, draw and write the place value of the number of days we have been in school, and sing the months. They also have a pencil pouch that contains a clock, counters, money, and whiteboard crayon. We finish calendar by doing time (they show it on the clock and write the digital time), count money to make a certain amount and share different ways, and write a fact family on their white board using the counters. It can take 20 minutes but they learn so much and they are all engaged. When I finally get to the time and money chapters in our curriculum my class generally breezes right through. Also i am able to introduce more difficult skills like multiplication and writing numbers later in the year. Jessica Meachems websight has wonderful printouts to use for this. I look at calendar time as an extension of math.

My "student of the day" completes the calendar & morning message during morning work time. When we get together for our greeting, we check over the different parts together. Very quick and simple, it usually only takes about 3-5 minutes in all.

This year I am using folders for each child. They mark everything with me and they love it. I use printouts from Jessica Meacham's site. I would prefer to use small binders because it gets confusing when we add more pages at the end. I may ask parents to send 1 inch binders in for their children.