Calendar Math

One of my most favorite parts of the day is Calendar Math. 

I feel like we hit so many math skills in such a short amount of time {usually less than 15 minutes}! The kids are interacting with different activities, we are choral counting and solving, sharing strategies, making up problems to solve using today's number, and just having fun! 

A few years ago I created Calendar Math Journals to help me use our Calendar Math time as a way to collect data on my kiddos. Each student was given his or her very own monthly Journal and every few days we completed a page or two together.

For example, Monday we do Calendar Math on the floor in front of our Calendar. Tuesday, and Wednesday we do Calendar using our Journals. Thursday we are back to the floor. And Friday we do another Journal page. 

On the days when we are working in our Journals, I have our Student of the Week flip the calendar pieces, complete any writing on the hundreds chart, number line, tally marks, straws, money... so we are ready to go the next time we do Calendar on the floor. 

By the end of the year it is my goal that most of my students can complete the activity pages on their own. 

It got to be quite the task running monthly Journals, so I changed it up last year and tried Trimester Calendar Math Journals! This worked out amazingly!!

Here is how I set up my Trimester Journals:
Trimester One: Sept, Oct, Nov activity pages + cover, 100s chart, tally recorder, weather graph {one per month}, "Things I noticed about ___" {one per month}, and the reference page with months of the year, days of the week, skip counting info...

Trimester Two: December, Jan, Feb, March...etc.
Trimester Three: April, May, June...etc.

I double side when copying and staple three times along the top for durability. Very rarely do I have to restaple Journals. My students keep them in their "Unfinished Work" folders for safe keeping in their desks. I collect them only when I want to collect some data--most of the time I collect about 5 at a time to cut down on the pile. I also collect Journals before Fall and Spring Conferences, or before meeting with parents for other meetings throughout the year... just to show them a more clear picture of what we are doing in 2nd grade math and to show them what we did last month... how we have grown, and give them a glimpse into our future! {My kiddos love "looking into the future" especially when something looks hard! They can't wait to get there!}

Each Trimester Journal ends up being about 15 pages {front and back}. And remember... that lasts us 3-4 months! I say that is paper-well-spent!

I love our Calendar Math Journals! This is one of my top selling TPT items and since I am moving up to 3rd grade I will be working on a version that is more specific to 3rd grade skills!

 Here are some pictures of what my Teacher Journal looks like... when we complete our Journal pages together I have my copy under the Document Camera and each of my students has his or her copy out in front of them. I give them time to do the work independently before I call on students to help me fill in the answers in my Journal. For some problems {like the Shopping Problem} we decide on the item, price... or for the clock I tell them the time I want them to show... and then they get to work independently.

How do you do Calendar Math in your classroom? 

CCSS Overload

July is winding down... B2S sales are beginning to pop up... and I am forcing myself to stay away from my classroom for one.more.week. {I don't officially go back to work until Aug. 25th... Kids come Sept. 3rd}

This year I am moving up to 3rd grade. I am so super excited {especially because I get to take a few of my last year 2nd graders with me!}

But I am also anxious--mostly about the jump in skill level between 2nd and 3rd grade. I have loved teaching 2nd grade for the last 6 years! I know the standards, I know strategies, I have a plethora of resources and materials in my cupboards, cabinets and drawers. So now I need to learn my 3rd grade stuff! I. Can. Do. This!

I have spent most of my time just reading the standards then TPT-ing & Pinterest-ing ideas for each standard--this is mostly just helping me get a visual understanding of what 3rd grade looks like. 

I have also spent time looking through my 2nd grade stuff figuring out how I can tweak something I love {like my writing station} to make it work for my 3rd graders. 

When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I watch this video. There is something about it that inspires to keep pushing myself and reminds me why I am a teacher! 

Take a look!


Creative Clips Summer VIP

Have you seen this?! Are you a member yet?!

Ms. Krista Wallden is hosting an amazing Summer VIP Membership club--

Creative Clips Summer VIP Members will get:

- 10 Creative Clips Digital Weekly Newsletters with tips, updates and a summary of each week’s goodies
- Advance notice of two major summer sale dates
- Many samples of new types and styles of clipart before other sellers!
- Mini Sets of clipart and a variety of isolated images that will not be available in her store until after summer
- A full-set of clipart valued at $4.50 as a Back-to-School Summer Send-Off Gift (specific set will be included)
- Creative Clips printables which may include thank you notes, classroom labels, bookmarks, etc. that will jumpstart your school year with go-to goodies!
- Opportunity to provide specific feedback through exclusive surveys and polls to make sure Creative Clips is offering you everything you need/want!

WHAT?! Please tell me you are a member! This is amazing! 

I love her newsletters each week. Learning from other teachers/bloggers about tips and tricks that work for them is super inspiring for me!

With that being said I was inspired to revamp one of my most popular Back 2 School TPT {Freebies}

Click {here} for your copy!

And if you are a clip art lover/hoarder like me, make sure to sign up to be one of Krista's VIP members! I am certain she will inspire you, too!


EOY: Camp Week!

Every year our wonderful 1st grade teachers plan a super fun A-Z (26-day) countdown to the last day of school.

Maybe teachers in your school do this, too! Each day corresponds with a letter and a special activity that begins with that letter. For example, K day is King day and all of the boys in 1st grade are treated like Kings. They make crowns and everything! But then with Q day comes around the girls in 1st grade are Queens for the day... with crowns and everything :)

So my sweet 2nd graders began asking me if we were going to do an A-Z countdown.... like way back in March they asked me this! 

I reminded them of how special they felt each day when they were in 1st grade doing all of those fun activities and we talked about how it wouldn't be very fair (or as much fun!) if we did the same thing in 2nd grade. So I promised them we would do something different. 

The past 2 years I have done a 10 day countdown and although my kids love it, I wanted to do something a little bigger this year. 

So I took to Pinterest and TPT.... and after some searching I decided on CAMP WEEK!

I convinced my 2nd grade teacher teammates to do it with me so our whole grade level would be doing fun things together. And boy am I glad they were willing to join in... this ended up being quite the fun experience with a LOT of prep!

This is what our circle table looked like on Day 1.

We had writing journals ready (bright green cover), math journals ready (red cover), Camp Helm Memory Bags ready for names and decorating, and mini flashlights awaiting batteries from home. 

My students brought:
* one snack item (to be added with everyone else's snack item for a Friendship mix)
* one AA battery for their flashlight (which they got to keep at the end of the week!)
* and a pillow from home to stay at school all week (for reading by the campfire, of course!) 
* Letters from home :)

Each day we focused on one school rule--this was my big plan to keep everyone on track those last weeks of school :)

Day One was: Safety Always

We discussed what it looked like at Camp Helm and I showed them their special lanyards that they would be working to earn beads for (see last picture below...). 

We then constructed our Campfire--some students made rocks, some made logs, and we all made hand-print flames. 

2 weeks prior to Camp Week I sent home a letter explaining all the fun that was to come... and asked parents to write a letter to their student for each day of camp... like letters they might actually receive if they were away at camp for a whole week.  Parents wrote their student's name and the day of camp that each letter should be opened. I passed out the mail each day and students took their flashlights and letters around the room to read. I also found a YouTube video of a real crackling campfire to play for them to help set the "mood" :)

I snuck a peak over shoulders to read parts of the letters and can I just tell you that these parents wrote the most creative, sweet, fun, loving letters I have EVER read! I literally teared up daily! They wrote about how much they missed their student--how much their pets missed them--how they couldn't wait to come and pick them up from camp--gave them reminders (brush your teeth...watch out for bears!)--and said "I love you" lots!

After we read our mail then we made Friendship Mix and enjoyed it as our snack. 

In the afternoon we answered a camping themed question (ex. Can you set up a tent) from Andrea's pack and then completed a few pages of her math journal activities.

We ended the day reflecting and writing in their camp journal. This became quite the review of important literacy skills we learned throughout the year! They reminded each other to start with a main idea, use transitional words, add interesting words and details, and to remember capitals and periods!

Everyone had a chance to share their journal writing around the campfire.

At the end of Day One everyone got their first bead (pink) except for one little guy who really struggled to keep all chair legs on the ground at all times... don't worry! He was very concerned that he didn't earn his Safety Bead and worked extra hard to earn it on Day 2!

The rest of the week was pretty similar each day with campfire reading, mail from home, Friendship Mix, Math Journals, Writing Journals, lanyards... and FUN!

On the last day we made s'mores with marshmallow fluff. Have you ever used that stuff before??? It goes from fluff to runny, sticky, goodness in a snap!

Field Day happened to land on Day 2--extra fun at Camp Helm, let me tell you!

Our end of the year community hiking field trip landed on Day 4 (slightly planned). We hiked around the trails of our school's neighborhood in search of producers, consumers, and decomposers. Each student carried a special notebook with them to draw examples of each as they spotted them!

When we got back to school we made a 2nd grade mural to show all of the organisms in our community. It turned out so super AMAZING!

Overall, Camp Week was AMAZING! Teachers were stopping by all week wishing they were at Camp Helm wondering what was on the agenda for today.

Best of all, my students LOVED it! They told me over and over that this was the best week of school ever! Many even told me that they wanted to stay at Camp Helm overnight! :) Sweet, huh?

I loved Camp Helm! I would do it again in a heart beat! But... during Camp Helm week I found out that next year I am moving up to 3rd grade!! I am super excited (and really nervous!) but that also means I can't do Camp Helm again....hmmmmmmm.... what should I do next year??