Monday, October 8, 2012

Calendar Math

Oh hey! How's it going!

[I'm blogging during the week? Say what?!]

I've read so much about calendar math in the intermediate grades, and I was inspired! [I remember when third grade was still considered more on the elementary side and not intermediate, but I digress.] I wanted to do it. For real! But I came across several road blocks in my quest to calendar math.

Road Block #1: When am I supposed to fit this in?
Road Block #2: Where am I supposed to put all the prompts?

Well, I've navigated through/overcome these road blocks, and I'm doing calendar math! A lot of other blogs that I read have calendar that is way more involved, at least it seems that way. But at this point, I think this is a good jumping off point. I haven't shared this idea with my team yet, because I needed to run it by you guys and test it on my kids first! Anyway, here we go.

First of all, we only do calendar math on Fridays. I wish I could do it everyday, but I'm not sure that's realistic. We go to recess [usually, as it is not scheduled] from 1-1:30. When the students come in from recess, this PDF is projected onto my Smartboard. They are instructed to complete it as drinks/winding down are going on. On the PDF, I write in today's number, part of the fact family triangle, part of a pattern, a time, and a temperature. Students have a blank copy on their desks.

For the past couple of weeks, I've released responsibility to the students. This week will be the first time they do it completely independently. From what I've seen, I think they are going to do a great job! As they are completing it, of course, I circulate to make sure we are on the right track. After they complete it, we quickly go over it using the interactive smart board.

This is only the first calendar math template that I intend to do. As we move through the year, I will replace these elements with new elements. They won't disappear for the rest of the year. But, for example, students will do time/temperature once every few weeks. The empty spot could be taken up by multiplication skills or geometry concepts.

Interested in my first PDF as a freebie? Download here through google docs!
[As always, let me know if it doesn't work!]

UPDATE: Google Docs hates me! I posted the freebie on TPT. Click here to download if you are unable to download from above! =)

So, a few questions for my readers! Please, please, please comment to respond to these questions! I want to make this element of my math instruction as beneficial to my kids as possible!

How do you do calendar math in your classroom?
How would you improve my method of calendar math?
Would a pack of calendar PDFs be useful in your classroom?

I hope everyone is having a good week!


  1. So cute!! :) I have to admit, I don't do much Calendar math in my classroom, besides a few activity sheets here and there :X If I had more resources then it would definitely improve my teaching and keeping up with it!!
    I hope you have a fabulous week as well, Meghan :)

  2. I can't get to the doc. I would love to have it and give it a go in my classroom. I too think its a good idea, but haven't been able to overcome my road blocks. Maybe now, though, I can follow your lead and go for it! Thanks!

  3. I do calendar math It is so good, and worth the time it "takes away" from everything else. The thing is, though, that once the kids get going and they are fully engrossed in it, they are learning all of the stuff that they would during the "everything else" time (does that make sense??) It really is worth the effort and time in my opinion.

    Teaching in Room 6

  4. I have found that calendar math feels like it takes way too much time in the beginning, but then later, we get to a few lessons that I don't even have to TEACH because we've been doing it in calendar and they all know it.

    I need to get back to Calendar Math in my room, but I do a "Magic Number" type sheet about once a week. Thanks for sharing what you do!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  5. We have just started saxon math, which does not expect us to do calendar math. HOwever I have started using the calendar and discussing more often in my room. I love your blog and I think that you have wonderful ideas.

    Teaching is terrific

  6. meghan,
    Hi ....thanks from another third grade teacher in PA! Just wanted a little explanation of the triangle and number extension??? Also, what other things have you added? We have no smart board so it's strictly the chalk board. (sigh)

    1. Hello Myra,

      The triangle is used for fact families. In the beginning of the year, I use addition/subtraction, and later in the year, I use multiplication and division. Sometimes, I leave out the sum/product, other times I leave out an addend/factor. I like to change it up! For the "extend the pattern" piece, I put the first three numbers based on a pattern. Students need to figure it out and extend the pattern two numbers further.

      If you do not have a smartboard, you could print one of the templates for every students, put it in a dry erase sleeve, and have them write on it with dry erase markers. That might work if you have those materials! =)