This activity is to be used with a calendar pocket chart.
Run calendar squares on colored card stock. Cut apart and laminate for repeated use.
There is a square with an answer for each of the days of the month. Answers for the problems are the numbers 1- 28, 30, or 31 depending on the month. The object is for each student to put his/her square in the pocket that corresponds with the answer to his/her problem.
Distribute a card to each student. Make sure students have a short amount of time to answer their questions before you begin sending them to the pocket chart.
Send several students at a time to the calendar to place their clue card in the corresponding pocket of the calendar chart for which the date is the answer to the problem on the card.
The first few times you use the activity you may want to leave the number squares in the calendar and students place the clue cards on top of the correct number.
You can differentiate the activity in a number of ways.
Leave only 4 or 5 numbers in the pockets as points of reference.
Students often want to put “1” in the first square. They may need to be reminded by referencing another calendar in the room that the first may have fallen on another day.
Eventually you want students to place their cards without the number cards in the pockets. They must consider the current date and use that as a point of reference for placing their card.
Time the students each time they do the activity and see if they can improve their time.
Allow students to help each other and then move to working independently. It can be a “silent” activity where they must complete the calendar as quickly as possible without any help or conversation.
You can start this as a whole group activity but once they know the procedure it can become an independent one. You can place a square on each student’s desk and send them to the calendar one at a time during group time.
Talk with students about what to do if there is already a square in the pocket where he/she thinks his/her square belongs. You can have them place it in the pocket with the other one and discuss it at the end of the activity. Another option is to tell students they are allowed to correct squares they think are misplaced. They could also place squares on the ledge below the calendar if they think they are misplaced.
You can use “Wild Cards”. Give some students blank cards. They write problems of their choice and place them in the correct pockets. Make sure students know a “Wild Card” can be in the pocket with another card.
A small group of 4-6 students could work on this as well.
Have students write problems with answers as the numbers 1-30 and use one from each student to create a class calendar activity.
Students can also create calendar squares in small groups for various months. Give them criteria such as: The calendar must have 4 missing factor problems, 4 facts with 9, 6 facts with 5, and the rest of the problems may be your choice.
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