Do you teach littles or special education and find that calendar time with a traditional calendar format is just very confusing?
If so, I have a good option to perhaps change things up: a lateral classroom calendar!
It is a nice way to bridge the gap between no calendar skills and a standard calendar format.
And it even works for doubling down on counting skills too!
That’s a win-win for any preK or Kinder teacher out there – especially early in the school year.
You might want to check out:
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- Keeping Students on Task During Cooperative Learning
- Centers Management Tips
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- Ideas for Organizing Your DI
- Creating Differentiated Assessment in a Snap
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How do I set up a lateral calendar?
You can use standard calendar set pieces you probably already have to make your lateral calendar. No new equipment is needed.
If you want the cute Learning and Lemons set that I am showing you in the pictures, you can grab that freebie below.
Here are the steps to set up your own in your classroom:
- Choose a space in the class on a wide wall. Extra points if you can post the numbers at student eye-level so they can be a part of the calendar time as well. If you just don’t have anywhere to place the calendar, head to the craft store and grab a handful of the tri-fold science fair boards and have them cut in half. Now you have a mobile wall!
- Next, download the free file below and add in your month numbers on the calendar pieces.
- Print your pieces and laminate if you choose.
- Attach to your wall via velcro or sticky tack in one continuous horizontal line.
- Toss up a month header too.
And you’re done!
Optional, but super helpful is adding in any special events your students may be participating in throughout the month.
Things like holidays, birthdays, special rotations, assemblies, or even known emergency drill dates are good things to display under the corresponding day of the month.
This really helps our youngest students to understand the concept of time a little better because it’s in a linear format.
What else can I do with my calendar?
At the end of the month, have the students help take the current numbers down and put up the next month’s!
Set the calendar number pieces in small groups of 5, but no more than 1o on a table and have students put the next month back up in order for you.
Or during center time, use the numbers for students to practice skip counting by 2s or 5s.
Want all the pieces, including the month headers already done for you?
Check out the Organized Educator Packs ready to print and display right away in a ton of different themes!
Click HERE to see what sets are available now.
When do I make the switch to a traditional calendar?
You know your students the best so you’ll probably know when they are ready for the traditional weekly/monthly format.
Once they seem to grasp the concept of counting the days in order, they might be ready to learn the days of the week and how the numbers look in a regular calendar grid.
That is the time to introduce these more advanced skills.
Don’t forget to grab your freebie file below while you’re here. Enjoy!
Have you ever used a lateral calendar with your students? How did it go and would you do it again? Leave a comment below to share any tips you might have for working with this type of calendar!