Young students love the comfort of a daily routine in their classroom. One of the most universal routines is a morning meeting with calendar activities. Lots of math concepts are inherent with calendar activities. But, have you every incorporated patterning?
Once September rolls around, I like to subtly introduce patterns on the calendar. To do this, I provide apple cards for the calendar --
As the calendar starts to fill with apple cards, someone always notices that they make a color pattern. Gotta love those "Aha!" moments! Once that realization has been achieved, my students have a new challenge at calendar time: predict what color the apple will be today.
My first graders really get into this. So naturally, I have to up the ante with the next month. October brings autumn leaves --
The first few days of October are such fun as the children try to predict what the pattern will be. By the 5th of October, the pattern becomes clear. However, I'm not finished with the predictions... Now my students have to predict such details as what kind of leaf it is, which direction the stem will point, is the leaf right side up or upside down...
Common Core Standards are being addressed. Visual discrimination is enhanced. Teaching time is being maximized. Students are engaged and having fun. Try it; you'll like it!
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