Today's number: calendar routine.

I'm gonna be totally honest with you...I have sort of a love/hate relationship with calendar. I really really want to love it (and lately I do). I know there are so so so many skills you can incorporate during this time and it really is a good way to start off the day but I usually get to a point in the year when it all just seems the same. I added this "Today's number" routine to my calendar last year with my kidnergarteners but I've really amped it up this year with my firsties.  It really can work with either grade level. Each day we have a special number that we look at and discuss in various ways.  I love that there are so many different conversations we can get into and skills we can hit every day.

I usually start off by using either the number of days we have been in school or the date. In Kindergarten I looped back through 1-10 and eventually 1-20.  So far this year we have been doing the date. We start off by building the number in the ten frame and we do a quick number talk about what the kids see in the ten frame. My kids this year started out pretty reluctant to actually talk out loud about numbers so far so we have really been working on this every day.

Side note: My calendar is mounted on my white board so I use 2 sided magnetic counters and for other sections I just write directly on the gives me more room to move things around and play when we hit a "teachable moment"...more on that later in the post.  Last year I had each section in a long pocket chart and I used laminated paper with dry erase markers. 

So after we talk about the ten frames, we move down to the dominoes. For smaller numbers I actually draw in the domino dots.  Sometimes I have them build both sides and give me a combination to make the number. Later on I fill in one of the sides and they have to tell me what else is missing to make the number.  With the bigger numbers I have been doing this week I have just been having the kids give me combinations and I write the numbers in (mostly so I don't lose their attention while I draw 14 tiny dots with my marker). The tallies are pretty self explanatory. On the day I took the picture (at the top) we were talking about groups of 5 and also groups of 10.

My kids have REALLY been enjoying using our money pocket chart and coming up with all the different ways to build the number using coins. Yesterday they started saying things like "you could get 16 cents by giving someone 2 dimes and getting 4 cents back". Love that! For the before/after we are sequencing the numbers. This day we were also counting by 2's.

For the popsicle sticks, again I usually do how many days have been in school, but this year I have been going up with the number of the day and we just keep adding and regrouping.  I have a great routine for popsicle sticks that really works wonders but I'll have to save that for another post.

Like I said, one of the things I love about this is how we can go off on different tangents and find a million little teachable moments. Today when when we were doing our combinations to 19 1 student said "17 and 2" and the next one said "16 and 3" that started a whole conversation about number patterns and we ended up identifying and extending the pattern.

It really makes it easier that I do this on a white board so I can slide things around and create more space to work and write.   I also found these great magnetic pockets at lakeshore last week that hold all my "stuff"

You can find the red headers for ten frame, tally, domino ect in my polkadot calendar set.
It also has some bright days of the week and months of the year headers.

And you grab the domino template and sequencing boxes from google docs.

Happy Monday friends :)


  1. I do my calendar time similar to yours! Looks like you are having fun with your firsties

    Have a great year


    Pocket Full of Kinders

  2. I love the Domino idea. I may try that with my students,

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  4. Do your students do a journal or notebook as well? Or is this all verbal? I'm asking because I love your products on tpt(!) and if you have calendar, number of the day, etc, pages for the kids to do, I'm pretty sure I would love those too!