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

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 email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

## Themed Ways To Count Up To 100 Day: Back-To-School Idea #12

Using A Theme To Count Up To 100-Day

Having a theme in place is a fun way to manage what you’ll do on 100-Day. I have several suggestions in this two-part article to help get you thinking.

Caterpillars:

We're Wiggling Our Way To 100 Day!

• Is a cute way to count up to 100-Day.
• Make a copy of my caterpillar head out of emerald green construction paper.
•
•  Add wiggle eyes, a pink pom pom nose, some pipe cleaners for antennae, stickers for cheeks and draw in a magic marker mouth and you’ve got yourself a beautiful bug.
•  Cut 50 yellow and 50-lime green cirles from my template to make100-segmented body pieces.
• Have students vote on a name for their caterpillar creature.
•  Each day choose a child to write that day’s number on either a yellow or lime-green circle and then add it to the growing body of your caterpillar.
• Hang the caterpillar in the middle of a hallway wall, close to the restrooms.
•  That way, when students are using the bathroom, you can review patterns and count up to whatever number you’re at, while you wait for everyone to finish.
• On 100-Day you can have gummy caterpillar-worms as a special treat/snack!
• Click on the link to view/print 100-Day Wiggles and the things I have related to him.

Butterflies:

• Our second graders study Monarch butterflies in September.
• I don’t do butterflies ‘til April, but I thought it would be fun to whip some Fluttering Our Way To 100-Day” stuff together as I LOVE LOVE LOVE butterflies!  If you do too, maybe this is the theme for you!
•  Perhaps you’d like to toss in a butterfly thing or two with your caterpillars!  After all, metamorphosis could have taken place in those 100 days of counting!  How cute would that be!
• Simply draw a big jar (use clipart) on construction paper and cut it out.
•
• You can make your jar out of light blue or gray paper and the lid can be wrapped in aluminum foil.  This is a photo of my firefly bug jar.
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• Put my poster (see photo above-left) above or beside your jar.
• You can make this poster 3-D by cutting two sets of butterflies.
• Glue only the thorax to the bottom butterfly; fold the wings up and wahla "flying butterly!"
• Each day choose a student to add a butterfly to the jar.
• On 100-Day choose a “pick me” Popsicle stick that has your students’ names written on them and that child gets to take the poster home as a 100-Day prize!
•  Just like the blog before, I’m endeavoring to keep things brief, so I have another mini-sub article after this one.
• Keep scrolling down if you’d like to see more tips on this topic and read about trains and apples as  themes for counting up to 100-Day!

If you've enjoyed the teaching materials and would like to donate even a dollar to help me with the cost of running TWM, I'd be grateful. Thank you!

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