Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Where do I even start?" ~ Morning Calendar!!!

I LOVE getting personal messages on Facebook, emails and even chit-chat at weekend birthday parties from Moms that are looking for an answer on how to get started with their little learners!  Some have 2 year olds, while some have 4 year olds... But no matter what their ages, I seem to always direct them to the easiest way to get going in the morning and such an effective tool that we use in our learning schedule ... Morning Calendar!

Our calendar time has taught both of my boys:
*Days of the Week
*Seasons
*Counting forwards and backwards from 1-31 (visually and auditory)
*Complex patterns using colors on number/date cards
*Understanding of yesterday, today and tomorrow
*Sentence structure (when we read our day of the week sentence)
*Visually recognize days of the week
*Concept of time

Here's what ours looks like in our new Learning Nook!
 (small eat-in area in our kitchen)
 I believe I order this off of Amazon: Pocket Chart Calendar for $19.99.  

Here is our calendar routine (procedure video - Coming Soon!)
Keep in mind that consistency is the KEY!  

*Nixon picks a pointer and we sing "Days of the Week" to the tune of the Adams Family Song.

*Meanwhile, Jackson is independently working on his own Daily Learning Workbook/Calendar but refers to our calendar to complete his work.

*Over to the fridge, where we complete our "Today is..." sentence.  When prompted, Nixon can visually pick out the day of the week and ZAPS it into the sentence.  

*Using a pointer, Nixon reads the "Today is..." sentence.  I just added a fuzzy ball glued to a circle magnet to create our "period", but it's missing in this picture.  I did this just to introduce punctuation to Nixon.



*We go back over to the calendar, count from 1 - ? and then flip over the date/number.  I casually mention, using the yellow sticky notes sticking up over the day of the week, what was yesterday and what tomorrow will be.  (That is mainly for Jackson's notebook work.)

This takes us a total of 5 minutes which is perfect for a little learner and a busy Mommy!

Below is a picture of our months of the year.  When we were learning about leaves/Fall, I noticed that Jax had no clue what a season was or even the order of the months in a year.  So, every day for about 1 week, we made a "word ladder" with these cards.  I scattered them out and he would have to create the ladder, then both boys would walk up and down the ladder saying the names of the months.  The next week we decided to add the seasons and posted it in our pocket chart.  They refer to it all the time in casual conversations about birthdays or specific holidays. 
Here's a picture of our months of the year.  No Pocket Charts? Just write the months out in order on a long paper.

I hope this helps you get a jump start on learning with your little ones.  Such a simple way to start and such a quick way to learn with your little learner!

Happy Learning!

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