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!