Most primary classrooms have a daily calendar time and Melissa Biddle uses her calendar time “as a springboard for introducing, reinforcing, and assessing a wide array of math skills” and as a chance to model language arts. She suggests many great ideas such as: a math word wall and language arts conversations during calendar time.
Ms. Biddle suggests these great activities to make use of your math word wall:
“Write 5-10 word wall words on the chalkboard one letter at a time. Encourage the class to predict what the words will be. After all words have been written and reviewed, have students put their heads down. Erase one word at a time and ask students to open their eyes and guess what word you have erased.”
“Randomly give two different letters to pairs of students. Allow time for each partner to review and quiz the other on all the words under his or her letter.”
Here are some examples of the language arts conversations Ms. Biddle suggests you model and use during calendar time:
“Let’s ask a question about something special in February.”
“Tell your neighbor a statement about something you did in March.”
“Today is the fifth of January. Let’s highlight every fifth word on the list. Let’s sort these words into nouns or verbs.”
“Today is the twelfth of November. Let’s use the twelfth word from each list and make a November sentence using these words.”
“Today is March 12, 2007. Let’s list the number synonyms for 12.” Number synonyms are just like words that are synonyms: words that have the same meaning. So, possible number synonyms for 12 are: 4 + 8, 20 – 8, 3 + 3 + 3 + 3, 1 ten + 2 ones, 3 x 4, etc!
What a great way to start the day and work on multiple math and reading standards! Read Melissa Biddle’s great article here.
Biddle, M. (2007, February). When opportunity knocks: Integrating language arts and the daily calendar. The Reading Teacher, 60(5), 488-491. doi:10.1598/RT.60.5.8