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Old 10-29-2012, 10:25 AM
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Default Calendar Time

It never seems to fail that after about two months my group gets bored with calendar time and starts acting up rather then paying attention. We do a new letter every week, have a new poem, say our day of the week poem, count days, talk about or theme. Do you all change things around with calendar time, or do you keep the same general concept all year long? It makes me want to stop doing calendar. They did the same thing last year with our weather puppet that we used, the first month or so things were fine, then they started acting up-not listening-grabbing the puppet and we stopped using it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:28 PM
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My recommendation? Stop doing calendar. Honestly, "learning" the calendar is not a developmentally appropriate activity for preschoolers. They have plenty of time to learn that in kindy. Here, we learn about days (morning, afternoon, evening) through routines and rituals....following a fairly consistent daily routine and talking about it as you go (good morning at arrival, breakfast time happens in the morning, nap time....it's the middle of the day, time to rest our bodies, "have a good evening" at departure, as it begins to get dark) The children learn best by recognizing the cues that indicate time/day/night/weekend (when they don't have school!)

So, again I say, Stop the Calendar and make circle time more about group discussion and interactions that are meaninful in the context of the children's lives at this moment in time
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:38 PM
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I do and don't agree with Crystal about the calendar, only because I have mixed age group and I have kids that are pre-kinder.

What I do with the calendar is making it as active as I can. I also keep it short.

We first discuss what month it is. Then we decide what day it is..Sing the days of the week. Then I tell them let's look at what day was yesterday and then move the marker up to today. So today is Oct 29. we then get up

we jump as a class 29 times, we clap our hands 29 times, we stop our foot 29 times....pick one... I lead the counting and away we go....Today, the kids wanted to jump like frogs so we leaped 29 times.

This is a time when the kids should be doing most of the talking. Ask tons of open ended questions. Read a book and ak an open ended question. When you do ask, always ask the youngest person in the group first so that you don't get copy cat answers.....

Maybe when you do your poems, you can use props and have the kids operate the props.

I start out with the calendar, after all that active jumping or whatever we decide to do with the number of the days, I then turn it down and have the kids sit to read one short story....Then back to active with some dancing and singing. Back to sitting and story. I do this 3 times and then we are done.

I always change it up. Like this morning, we passed a pumpkin in a circle like hot potato. THe kids loved it. We did it in a way that no one was ever out.

Get creative
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:52 PM
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Here is a great article regarding calendar time with preschoolers:

http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/CalendarTime.pdf
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:53 PM
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and a blog that refers to the above article and additional info:

http://blog.mathatplay.org/2012/01/0...sing-the-mark/
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:28 PM
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I would keep plugging along and get them involved like daycare does.

We sing the days of the week, then figure out what day it is. We then say the months of the year and learn them in Spanish. Next we figure out what number day it is and count up to it then count backwards. Then we sing the today,yesterday, tomorrow song.

There are so many things the kids are learning just with calendar time!

Our kindy teachers love having kids that know this as they are having less and less time for teaching this sort of thing. The whole 2.5 hours they have them is a dead run-. Anything I can help prepare the kids for these teachers I will do it!

I figure with calendar time they are getting language, math, time perception, learning time placement, etc.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:37 PM
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The concern with calendar time is they are:

1. concepts that preschoolers are not developmentally ready to "understand"
2. they are not learning the concepts, they are learning rote memorization
3. when an activity is not developmentally appropriate, as the OP is experiencine, it results in disinterest, lack of participation, frustration and the end result of misbehavior.

There are SO many more developmentally appropriate ways to teach these concepts without drilling children with rote memorization.

However, I will digress and allow the calendar advocates to further respond
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
The concern with calendar time is they are:

1. concepts that preschoolers are not developmentally ready to "understand"
2. they are not learning the concepts, they are learning rote memorization
3. when an activity is not developmentally appropriate, as the OP is experiencine, it results in disinterest, lack of participation, frustration and the end result of misbehavior.

There are SO many more developmentally appropriate ways to teach these concepts without drilling children with rote memorization.

However, I will digress and allow the calendar advocates to further respond
crystal, you make a lot of valid points. However, I think that there is nothing wrong with memorizing anything. It will help desensitize them of this routine at an early age and will be on the top of it by the time they actually are of age to understand it.

People think that I am crazy for trying to teach my 20 months old DCK zoo Phonics.....by the time they are 2.5, some of them can already spell basic words and some can even read. Do they understand at 20 months what they are doing, probably not.....but when they are old enough or should I say when their developmental level peaks to understand, they are off and running with it.....

I have a friend who does preschool in her daycare and well and she is like you, she will NOT teach circle time calendar time. I just say to each their own
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:50 PM
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Well I know personally it works for me. Just last week I had parents say how they appreciate what their child learns here-better then sitting in front of the tv.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
crystal, you make a lot of valid points. However, I think that there is nothing wrong with memorizing anything. It will help desensitize them of this routine at an early age and will be on the top of it by the time they actually are of age to understand it.

People think that I am crazy for trying to teach my 20 months old DCK zoo Phonics.....by the time they are 2.5, some of them can already spell basic words and some can even read. Do they understand at 20 months what they are doing, probably not.....but when they are old enough or should I say when their developmental level peaks to understand, they are off and running with it.....

I have a friend who does preschool in her daycare and well and she is like you, she will NOT teach circle time calendar time. I just say to each their own
I agree, to each their own. We all have different values in regards to what we feel is best for children....I don't think there is any harm in calendar time, I just find it is not neccessary for children to learn those concepts and it is less frustrating when it is done in a more casual way.

I used to be a big fan of the calendar. It wasn't until I listened to a professor and decided to try a couple of weeks without it that I realized just how disruptive it actually was for our circle time. For me, the hope that they would memorize those concepts wasn't worth the daily effort and frustration that a few minutes of calendar time could cause.

However, if your group enjoys it, and you as a teacher enjoy it, then I say go for it! It's just when, as in OP's case, it isn't working, perhaps it's time to let it go
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:15 PM
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We do calendar time for a variety of reasons here. Ages 2.5-5 love Calendar Time. It takes less than 2 minutes to say the name of the month, spell it, add a new day on to the calendar, count the days, and talk about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My 3.5 to 5-year-olds and I will discuss what we did yesterday. For example, today is Monday so we talked about how yesterday was Sunday and we went to Church.

We do a lot during our two 15 minute Circle Times (morning and afternoon) and the kids never get bored though the routine stays the same. The songs, books, and topics may change but the normal songs and routine stays exactly the same.
The children are GREATLY disturbed if we don't have time to do Circle Time (like on a field day).
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
We do calendar time for a variety of reasons here. Ages 2.5-5 love Calendar Time. It takes less than 2 minutes to say the name of the month, spell it, add a new day on to the calendar, count the days, and talk about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My 3.5 to 5-year-olds and I will discuss what we did yesterday. For example, today is Monday so we talked about how yesterday was Sunday and we went to Church.

We do a lot during our two 15 minute Circle Times (morning and afternoon) and the kids never get bored though the routine stays the same. The songs, books, and topics may change but the normal songs and routine stays exactly the same.
The children are GREATLY disturbed if we don't have time to do Circle Time (like on a field day).
This is my group! They just seem out of wack if we miss it-
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
I agree, to each their own. We all have different values in regards to what we feel is best for children....I don't think there is any harm in calendar time, I just find it is not neccessary for children to learn those concepts and it is less frustrating when it is done in a more casual way.

I used to be a big fan of the calendar. It wasn't until I listened to a professor and decided to try a couple of weeks without it that I realized just how disruptive it actually was for our circle time. For me, the hope that they would memorize those concepts wasn't worth the daily effort and frustration that a few minutes of calendar time could cause.

However, if your group enjoys it, and you as a teacher enjoy it, then I say go for it! It's just when, as in OP's case, it isn't working, perhaps it's time to let it go
I agree with you 100% let go...this stands for everything...if the kids are not responding in a positive way, let it go, move on and try something else......
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
We do calendar time for a variety of reasons here. Ages 2.5-5 love Calendar Time. It takes less than 2 minutes to say the name of the month, spell it, add a new day on to the calendar, count the days, and talk about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My 3.5 to 5-year-olds and I will discuss what we did yesterday. For example, today is Monday so we talked about how yesterday was Sunday and we went to Church.

We do a lot during our two 15 minute Circle Times (morning and afternoon) and the kids never get bored though the routine stays the same. The songs, books, and topics may change but the normal songs and routine stays exactly the same.
The children are GREATLY disturbed if we don't have time to do Circle Time (like on a field day).
My kids also freak. I had to do calendar/weather/circle time at parent's night out last week!

Last month I added in how are you feeling poster with pictures of kids feeling (sad, mad, tired, etc) and the kids point to which picture they are feeling, we all make a sympathetic face and then we talk about why they feel that way, how they can feel better (or talk about what makes others happy, too) and that is the new favorite around here.

Plus, parents stinking love the kids singing the days of the week, months of the year, numbers, etc in english AND spanish.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for the responses. As with anything, we all have our personal philosophies and ideas on how to do things. I plan to continue calendar time as they do enjoy it, they just don't behave so well, but maybe I need to adjust my expectations. Even though they seem bored at times, they still ask if we are going to do calendar time, so I think it is something I don't want to discontinue. I think I will try to mix some of the active time as daycare suggested and possibly change the time that we do calendar. Thanks again.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:19 PM
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I have one 2.5y and the rest are 3-4y olds. We sing a short good morning song, then a weather song and our circle time helper tells us the weather and puts up the picture. I then give then the calendar day (today 30) and If it's my 4y olds I ask them what the number is and if it's a younger child then everyone helps them if it's a larger number. They then get to pick if they want to clap, jump or do rocket that many times (rocket, the crouch down and then when we get to the number ie: today-30) they jump up.
Then I will say that yesterday was _____, what is today? Then we all say together what day of the week, month and date (ie: Today is Tuesday, October 30). I then do some theme songs, felt board or movement activity with our theme or do an open ended discussion about our theme. Then we sing either days of the week or month song. Do another theme song or game and then story time. Then goodbye song and they are off to wash hands for snack. It takes about 10-20m depending on what we are doing.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
My kids also freak. I had to do calendar/weather/circle time at parent's night out last week!

Last month I added in how are you feeling poster with pictures of kids feeling (sad, mad, tired, etc) and the kids point to which picture they are feeling, we all make a sympathetic face and then we talk about why they feel that way, how they can feel better (or talk about what makes others happy, too) and that is the new favorite around here.

Plus, parents stinking love the kids singing the days of the week, months of the year, numbers, etc in english AND spanish.

Hilarious! The kids always try to go sit down and eat breakfast during our Parent Night Out events at 5:00PM.

I agree. My parents love the songs, too. Even if they only catch 1 english or 1 spanish word and the rest sounds jumbled together (2-year-olds!) they love it.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AnythingsPossible View Post
Thanks for the responses. As with anything, we all have our personal philosophies and ideas on how to do things. I plan to continue calendar time as they do enjoy it, they just don't behave so well, but maybe I need to adjust my expectations. Even though they seem bored at times, they still ask if we are going to do calendar time, so I think it is something I don't want to discontinue. I think I will try to mix some of the active time as daycare suggested and possibly change the time that we do calendar. Thanks again.
When we sing the days of the week we hold up our fingers and count from 1 to 7. When we count the days of the month we do frog jumps, jumping jacks, etc. We do a jump for each number we count. When we do various other things during circle time we will make up movements to do (sitting down) or clap with each word.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:38 PM
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I TOTALLY agree with Crystal. Young children, even 4 and 5 year olds, just do not have the ability to grasp the concept of time. Have you ever seen a circle time where the teacher asks "What day is it?" and the children start calling out random days until finally one of them happens to say the right one? I have witnessed this even in May and June (meaning they have been doing this everyday all year and still do not know).
In my program we do discuss days of the week and calendars but we do it in a way that is meaningful for the children. Here are some of the things we do:
- We have a calendar on a whiteboard and every month we write down important things that will be happening: birthdays, field trips, days off, etc.
- We have a consistent routine that so the children begin to get familiar with the order of days and talk about them (i.e. Every Thursday we go to the park, Fridays are music lessons, etc.).
-We read lots of stories where the days of the week are part of the story. There is a good list of these on the Early Literacy Connection website.
-We do have circle time everyday but we do not include a ritualistic calendar/weather discussion. We sing songs, read stories, do flannel stories, fingerplays, have a discussion, play games, etc.

If the kiddos are bored now, think about how bored they will be in Kindergarten when they have been doing calendar for 3-4 years already!
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:50 PM
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If you're bored with calendar, then they're probably bored with it and I would say it's probably good to take a break. I find 'calendar time' to be monotonous and boring myself, which is mainly why I don't do it.

In my preschool (4-5 yr olds), we have a helper of the day that rotates and is always written on our calendar. So, every morning we look at the calendar for a second to see who the helper of the day is (this is very exciting to them) and when I forget to look, the kids are usually pulling the calendar out to figure it out themselves. When we do look at who the helper is, I usually will say, "Today is Monday, October 28th and the helper of the day is...." just to get them familiar with those words. They are learning the days of the week and some of the kids are learning the months and know which month it is.

I have found that attaching a "Helper of teh Day" to the calendar helps make it meaningful for them and they enjoy the little bit with calendar that we do.

When we do weather theme, I usually have the children do a more traditional calendar time, where they put the weather symbols on the day and that usually happens for a month, but, like I said, I get bored with it pretty easily and so do they.

Hope that helps!
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