Monday, 11 July 2011 19:17

## How Many Days Left In The Month? Back-To-School Idea #14

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Calendar Paper Chain

Young children have a difficult time grasping calendar concepts especially the concept of time.

My students were forever asking: "When is the party, fieldtrip, or other special day?”

To help them actually VISUALIZE this, I designed a calendar extension called our Monthly Paper Chain.

Here’s how to make one:

• I count how many days in the month and make a color-patterned paper chain.
• We are learning ABAB or ABC patterns in September, so I start with an ABC pattern.
•
• I choose red, yellow and lime green to represent the 3 colors of apples, because we will also be studying apples for a science unit.
• Each month I pick different colors that somehow match the month.  i.e., in October I choose black, orange and purple and continue with the ABC pattern.
•  Every day we're in school we take away (subtract) a paper chain.
• I review this math terminology with my students.
• I also ask them if we have more or less, if our chain is getting longer or shorter, if it’s greater or less than etc.
• We rip off the weekend ones too.
• My students love tearing off the chains so that's why I included Saturday and Sunday.
• We count forwards and backwards, (in English and Spanish).
• We also identify the pattern.
• The children identify the colors in English and Spanish.
• I have them look for any paper chains that have stickers on them.
• These denote a special day that we are looking forward to, like a theme day etc.
• We then count how many more days 'til we get to wear our costumes, have a special visitor, get to go on a fieldtrip, or have our pictures taken, etc.
• Besides all of the great math extensions, the paper chain also acts as a cute decoration.
• I've included a little blackboard that you can run off and laminate and hang from the top of your paper chain.

• There’s a page of monthly icons (Some are pictured on the right; September's apple is pictured on the blackboard above.) that you can change each season or month if you want.

• Simply add a piece of Velcro to the back of each piece, with the opposite Velcro button stuck on the corner of the hanging blackboard.
• Make your paper chain personal by making a copy of your class picture and putting it on the back of the slate.
• You can add the caption:  Who is here today?

• Click on the link to go to “How many days are left in the month?” paper chain things so you can view or print them.
• Be sure and pop back tomorrow when I’ll have another back-to-school tip for you!

Until next time…

Do you have a classroom management tip that you find helpful?  I’d enjoy hearing from you! This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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