I'm moving to 1st grade after 11 yrs. in 4th. I'd love any song ideas and calendar activities anyone would be willing to share. Does anyone happen to have a "guide" or list of the order of your calendar activities? I'm also needing advice on all the procedures you need to go over with them. I know that I'll need to go over them time and time again, and it takes lots of modeling and practicing....but I'm just not sure "how" specific I need to be with things. If anyone has a list of procedures you go over those first few days/weeks, I'd appreciate it!

Check out Dr. Jean, she has some great songs for using during calender time. Also if you check out jmeachams website link listed below she has some great calendar ideas.

We use Everyday Math, so a lot of our morning meeting comes from that. Here's what I do:

1. I have a big calendar and we add the # card and say the date. We say what day was yesterday and what day tomorrow will be.
2. I have 3 cups labeled hundreds, tens, and ones. Each day we add a popsicle stick to the ones cup and count. Everytime we get 10, we bundle them together with a rubber band and move them to the new cup.
3. One a whiteboard, we tally how many children are absent and how many are present. (Each morning when the children come in they move their nametag on a poster from Absent to Present, so I just quickly glance at that.)
4. Morning message - I write a sentence "Today is ____. We will _____" and they help me write and fill it in. Sometimes I make mistakes on purpose and they have to find them.
5. We review the rules. I use rules from Whole Brain Teaching.
6. Temperature - we have a huge paper temperature chart and we decide where to move a paper mercury strip to.
7. The children go back to their own seats and fill in their own paper calendar and temperature chart.

As for procedures, here are some things you need to constantly review:
1. How to come in in the morning - put away backpack in cubby, put folder in a basket, get a book or worksheet for a do-now.
2. What to do if you have to go to the bathroom. I have my kids raise their hands in a fist with their thumb between their pointer and middle finger. (sign language for toilet)
3. How to line up - my kids line up in alphabetical order. I assign them a number that they keep all year.
4. How to walk quietly in a line - we have lots of walking practice!
5. How to move in centers, if you are doing them
6. How to get/order lunch
7. How to sit on the carpet - we sit in assigned seats in rows on a rectangular rug
8. How to solve a problem with a peer (lotsssss of modeling and practice)
9. How to share and take turns for games, partner activities - some teachers give one child a card with lips on it, and another gets a card with the ear, then switch
10. How to get their attention - I do different chants, claps, etc. Things in first grade are constantly changing as the kids grow and learn (and get bored with old activities/ways of doing things). You definitely have to stay on your toes and find different ways to keep them engaged!

My calendar procedure is as follows (a student is doing all of this, I model it the first day then help them through out the year)

1. We count to find today's date (The child then put the number on the calendar and we say for instance Monday June 14, 2010)

2. We then do our tally count (We add a tally mark for each day {we only do until the end of the month, but others have done the whole school year}. It helps the children count by 5's and 1's. It seems to help my children a little for when it comes to money, since they have been doing it all year long)

3. Then we do our place value pocket chart. This is a year round on going event. We add a straw to the ones, and make any changes that need to be made for the tens or the hundreds.

4. We do Yesterday was_____, Today is_____, and Tomorrow will be________

5. Weather graph, color it in. Then we say which one has more, or less.

6. Then depending on what we are learning I add things. I have a piggy bank for money. I have 2 strips (one green and red ) to re-enforce 2 digit adding. Green mean we start there, red means we stop.

You can do so many activities, just depends on what you want to add and what you have time to do. I use about 10-15 minute for calendar in the morning because first grade at my school as reading in the morning. So I can't take to much time, otherwise I go into my reading block.

Student helper leads
1) points to the month, asks someone for the name of the month, then we clap syllables, put syllables on our fingers, spell the word, discuss the letters, whatever strikes our fancy

2) we sing the months of the year song

3) we count up to today's date, helper chooses someone to guess the number and pattern piece of the day, we do additional predictions. Two digit numbers are discussed (ie. one student might guess that the number is 26, another student says 26 is made of a 2 and a 6, discuss place value, etc.

4) We sing Today is Monday, Today is Monday, all day long, all day long, yesterday was Sunday, tomorrow will be Tuesday, oh what fun, oh what fun (tune of Frere Jacques).

5) We sing the 7 days of the week song

6) We do the days in school count, add the stick for today, discuss place value, refer to the hundreds chart for more number practice

7) estimation jar (each day there is a different number of manipulatives in the jar, certain students each day get to make a guess, they or the teacher write the guess on the mini white board, we count to see the real number, we discuss the estimates and compare to the actual count, etc.

8) What's the weather like today, like today, like today, what's the weather like today, on this Monday? (to the tune of London Bridge) Helper checks the weather while we're singing the question song, then (s)he reports. We then sing, It is sunny out today, out today, out today, it is sunny out today, on this Monday. Helper fills in the chart or does the weather graph/tally.

That's my basic routine.

I find that I need to change it up as the year progresses. The bare bones remains the same, but I introduce different days of the week songs, months of the year songs, add addition and subtraction to the estimation jar component, etc. Students get bored if it stays TOO predictable, but they don't like too much change all at once.

After we have covered the money lessons in class we add magnetic money to the morning routine. The money represents the number of days we have been in school. We keep changing the coins as 5 pennies turn into a nickel or two nickels into a dime etc. The children "count on". So last Friday (day 171), after adding the penny for the day we were up to one dollar, one dollar 25 cents, one dollar 50 cents, one dollar 60 cents, one dollar 70 cents, one dollar 71 cents. Seems to work really well to help them master the concept as they practice the skill everyday.

If you have some money to budget for it, you may want to look into Number Corner from the Math Learning Center. It does some basic calendar routines every day but then adds things to keep calendar interesting. Many activities are games where its teacher vs. students, (which the kids always love) that reinforce concepts in a fun way. Monday's are money, Tuesday's are time, tallying and temperature, etc. Another good resource is Kim Sutton's material that can be found at creativemathematics.com.

We use Every Day Counts in our district. At the beginning of the year, we just did a days of school count, the date and day of the week and a simple math problem based on the date.

As for procedures...BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE! Think about every little thing that you want done and show it to them. Show them how not to do it too! I always focused on lining up, coming in from specials/recess/lunch, sitting on the carpet for lessons, and sharing materials at their table.