Mini-Moments #1 - Calendar Capers

Happy Tuesday!  It seems like this month has been so stop-and-go... filled with delayed openings, early closings an a snow day or two... or three probably tomorrow... ugh...  Combine that with actual teaching days missed for special events like 100th day, Valentine's Day... two days off coming up for President's Day.... and I'm feeling like I'm NEVER going to get back to focused teaching and learning.

It's months like these that make all those little "teaching times" so important.  Welcome to
graphics by Krista Wallden; fonts by KB fonts and Hello Literacy

Today I thought I would share with you how I sneak in some valuable practice, reinforcement and even introduction of math concepts everyday -during my morning meeting time.  Oftentimes our morning message will be math related, or the activity we do to end Morning Meeting will have to do with math, but one consistent math part of the start of the day is during our calendar time.  We do our calendar time on the Smartboard.  It makes it a little more interactive and I feel like I have more freedom to add and change things on a whim.

(Note:  Many of these slides originally came from the SMART Exchange - a great resource to get FREE activities for your Smartboard.  I modified some to fit my needs, and created others myself.  Normally, my students come up and do the writing and moving things and all that... today we were really late starting morning meeting so I did it to save time :-))

Here is calendar slide #1 - The month of _______
 Yes, very predictable here.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow... days of the week, months of the year.  But I also have a little ring of index cards with a TON of calendar questions on them (mainly so I don't forget!).  We talk about things like:
What will the date be one week from now?  Two weeks?  Three weeks and 4 days?  10 days ago?
How many Thursdays are in February?  How many of them are odd number dates?
What day will Feb. 9 be?  What is the date on the third Wednesday?
How many days until ________? 

Slide #2 - How many days have we been in school?
Simple enough... we add a "ones" piece everyday, trade when we get to ten, yada-yada-yada... but wait!  There's more!  The past few weeks we've been working on reviewing how to write numbers different ways - base ten form, expanded notation, standard form... I discovered some of my little kiddos really needed extra practice with this.  I also do some extension by asking how else we can make the number (ex. 46 = 4 tens and 6 ones, or 3 tens an 16 ones, etc.), how many to make 100 (or 1000!)... whatever we're working on, or need some extra help with, or comes up in conversation! After our 100th Day next week, we'll start counting BACKWARDS - how many days left of school?  That helps to reinforce regrouping with tens, something so many second graders need practice with.

Slide #3 - Coins in the Piggybank
Again, pretty self-explanatory, but we mix it up every once in a while.  We just put the half dollar back instead of two quarters because we needed to keep practicing counting by 25's.  There's potential for great discussions about using decimals, different ways to make the same amount, etc.  And while next week we'll start the backwards counting of days, we'll keep counting up with the money.  (It usually takes a few days before someone realizes the amounts on the two pages are no longer the same!)

Slide #4 - What's the Weather?
Look outside, add a bar to the graph... how many MORE of sunny than cloudy?  How many would twice as cloudy be?  We save the graphs each month and compare them to each other, which leads to great math thinking.  As a matter of fact, I just might do a gallery walk of sorts for them to walk around and look at each graph and answer some questions... hmmm... good thought!  We also talk about a lot of vocabulary here - precipitation, sky conditions, the fact that just because it is light out does not mean it is sunny.. uh huh... had to go there...

Slide #5 - What's the Temperature?
We have a wireless thermometer in our room, but since the central box is located by a brick wall, it's not all that accurate.  It is the helper's job to look up the temperature on the ipad when they come in.  Again, great math possibilities - how much warmer today than yesterday?  Above or below freezing?  How much?  Exactly what does "freezing" mean? And what is the C on the thermometer for?  Then we roll the two dice and calculate how much warmer/colder it would be.  At the beginning of the year, the dice just have single digits, then we move to multiple of ten, then other 2-digit numbers.  It just depends on what needs some work.  This time of year we've gotten into discussions about negative numbers and how to add/subtract them on a number line.  It may not stick with everyone, but I like to throw it out there, just in case!

The next slides vary from day to day. 
The helper chooses which one to do.  They're kind of like a spiral review so we can go back and review and maybe even preview what's coming up.  All the slides can be differentiated number wise, depending on what the focus is.

That's it!  Our whole calendar time takes about 10 minutes at this point in the year, but it's a very important way for me to see who knows what, what we need to work on and where we're going.  I'll be back in my next post to talk about more ways to capitalize on those little moments throughout the day - this time in the hallway, waiting in line and lining up.


  1. Love this idea! I am a first year teacher and my morning and afternoons are a bit crazy. I do not have a smart board but am going to make a power point or webpage to cover the areas you did.

  2. Can you share your morning meeting templates? I do have a smart board but have not figured out how to make flip charts.

  3. Hi! I am a new teacher and new to 2nd grade! I am wondering if this resource you made is available? If so, I would love to have access to it! Thank you for posting this!

  4. I would love to access to your resource as well. Any way to get one?


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