Linear Calendar

If you are in my Facebook Group “The PreK Spot” (if you aren’t, why not?!), you might have heard the buzz about Linear Calendars. I read about it for about a year before I finally gave in and jumped in with both feet to see what the buzz was about. I did the calendar for half a year, and I will never go back!

How to Make One:
First let’s talk about how I made my linear calendar. I have created it two ways.  When I first tried the linear calendar, I tried one week at a time. I just wanted to see how I liked it. I bought a Weather Pocket chart from Oriental Trading (you can get it here) You could buy 5 of the pocket charts and line them up, but it would be about $90. It is a little more expensive, but more sturdy. I have had a couple linear calendars, and this is by far my favorite.

Or you can use adhesive pocket labels. (You can get there here, but I got mine at the Target Dollar Spot)

I printed out the first page of my Linear Calendar kit! You can buy the bundle here, but the January File is FREE.  I can’t remember exactly how many pages I printed out, I think 11. You could fit about three on each page. Once I printed the pages out, I lined them up side by side and taped them down.

Then I unpeeled the adhesives and placed them on each line. It was so easy to do.

Then the first time I put the cards in the linear calendar, I did it myself. But the next few times I let the kids do it.

The Why:
I have heard the research that Calendar is not DAP. But I could not let go. I do so much during calendar time. (I actually wrote an article at Oriental Trading HERE about what all I do during calendar time) Looking back at to what my students were learning during calendar, had more to do with the numbers, as opposed to the actual calendar. Even when I taught kinder, they struggled with learning the months of the year, and the days of the week. So why was I focusing so much on the calendar? I needed to focus on the numbers. These are the four skills that I felt I needed to focus on.
·      Left to Right Progression:
I wanted to make sure the kids knew that we started on the left and moved to the right. This leads into the next item.
·      Numeracy
I needed my students to see that the numbers got small to big. It also helps them see that numbers are in in a row. I think when we looked at a square calendar, it was confusing at first. When they look at it the numbers and the breaks in the calendar don’t match our 100s chart.
·      Patterning Skills
This is a nonnegotiable skill in Calendar, be it traditional or linear calendars. Patterns are something that need to be introduced, even if not mastered. Just by exposing students to patterns, they pick up on it faster. Our date cards have AB, ABC, and ABB patterns on them.

·      Vocabulary
There were some big words that I wanted to make sure my kids were exposed to. Again, I am not trying to make sure they reach mastery, but I want to introduce them to the words. In PreK they wont necessarily make sense of words like: month, year, weekend. But by introducing it, they might begin to understand.

The How:
        So, when we do calendar, it isn’t much different than what I did when I taught with the traditional calendar. (and in this picture, I still have my traditional calendar up!)
        When we start the month out, I lay all the month date pieces out on the floor. Each student gets a card. We start with the number 1, the student with that number goes and puts it in the calendar. We identify the pattern. I will cover the day we are on. We read the numbers, then we read the pattern. After we decide on the date, we then mark home/school. We count how many days we have been at home, and how many days we have been in school.
        At the end of the year, I added big days (spring break, last day of school, party days). We then would count up to how many days until XYZ.

The Good Stuff:
        Now to the best part. I might have bought an extra set of Adhesive Pockets at Target last night. I’m giving away 62 pockets and my linear calendar bundle! Enter below! Giveaway ends at midnight 7/6.

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