Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together and works! When I was setting up my classroom at the start of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to have a big calendar that I could change each month and put special dates onto. I connected this calendar idea to reading the book An Aussie Year, by Tania McCartney and to a program I have written to explore celebrations and special days as they occur during the year.
It is working and I am having fun with my class learning about these things during our morning work times.
I made my classroom calendar on one of my swinging whiteboards. I used tape to make the boxes (the wobbliness just adds to the handmade character!). The calendar pieces come from an awesome local business called Magnetricks. Each piece is a magnet, so they can be easily moved around the board from month to month. Included in the set are some special day and event magnets so I can add these as I need to. They are fabulous and are working really well.
To complement the classroom calendar, I have made little booklets for the students so we can work on calendar and celebrations activities easily. So far my students have made a booklet for February and March and over the course of the month we have explored celebrations and maths based calendar problems. I also get students to find facts about the celebration on information cards I have made. Sometimes we watch videos of the different celebrations from the internet, and this gives the students another information source to draw upon for comprehending the importance of these events.
I have also complemented the monthly booklet with some interactive notebook elements, so that students can write facts about the celebrations in a fun way. Click below to download a copy of my St Patrick’s Day interactive notebook page. Download Shamrock Flippable
These activities are helping me to teach the content of the year three history curriculum and get some meaningful mathematics done. Each time we learn about a celebration we add an information card to our classroom display. Later in the year, once we have learned about a few of the celebrations we will do a mini unit to bring all the ideas together. One of the ideas I had for using the information cards was to get the students to sort them in different ways. For example we might sort them based on those celebrations that are on the same date each year and those that change.
So far I am enjoying learning about celebrations in this way and I know my students have learned about special days from other places they had never heard of.
I can’t wait to teach them all about April next!