Math Background

Lesson: Using a Calendar
Introducing the Concept

Children should be provided with many opportunities to practice using the calendar. These experiences should include identifying and ordering the days of the week and the months of the year. Encourage children to use language associated with the calendar, such as today, tomorrow, yesterday, week, month, and year. Provide enough experiences so that children feel comfortable with how the calendar is organized by days, weeks, and months.

Materials: a large 12-month wall calendar in which each month has its own page

Preparation: Open the calendar to the current month. Circle the name of the month and today's date.

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Children should have had opportunities to hear and say calendar terms such as today, tomorrow, yesterday, and month. Children should also be familiar with the concept of “date” and have had the opportunity to look at and talk about classroom calendars listing events.

  • Say: Look at the calendar page. Today's date is circled.
  • Ask: What is today's date? Have a volunteer name the date (for example, “5,” or “the fifth”).

    Point to each day of the week on the calendar. Have children say the names of the days of the week with you in order, pointing to each day as you say its name.
  • Ask: What day of the week is it today? Have a volunteer name the day of the week.
  • Ask: What day of the week was yesterday? What day will tomorrow be?
    If necessary, explain to children that “yesterday” is the day before today and “tomorrow” is the day after today. Have children explain how they decided which day of the week yesterday was and which one tomorrow will be.

    Now point to the name of the month at the top of the calendar. Go through each page in the calendar, saying the name of each month. Write the names of the months in order on the board, prompting children to help you by telling which month comes next. Then have children count to tell the total number of months. (12)
  • Say: There are 12 months in 1 year. January is the first month. December is the last month.
    Encourage children to count forward from January to find the place order of each month.
  • Ask: What month is it now? What was last month? What will next month be?
    Encourage children to give the names of the current month, the preceding month, and the following months.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K