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Meeting Common Core Standards During Calendar Time

By Brian Smith on November 4, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2

Calendar time is an easy part of your school day to work in several of your Common Core State Standards.

We sing the months of the year using Dr. Jean's "Macarena Months" song and using the dance moves of the '90s pop song, "Macarena." My class sings the months two times. This helps the kids understand that after December we start over with January. Doing the Macarena takes a lot of coordination and crossing the midline, which can be hard for some students. To make sure that they get involved, I yell, “Now give me a beat!,” after the first time through and we clap the second time through.


We also sing the days of the week. We sing this to the theme song from the old '60s television program The Addams’ Family. I like it because the tune is catchy and they can sing the song in their head, reinforcing what we do in class. It's also very easy to sing twice in a row so that they realize that they week starts over and that there is a day after Saturday.


Finally, we sing the seasons. I use the old James Taylor 1971 hit, "You’ve Got a Friend." This is my favorite part of calendar time because hearing a group of five year olds sing this song is just heartwarming.


Horizontal Months

We cover several kindergarten English Language Arts CCSS during our calendar time. By having sentences about yesterday, today, and tomorrow listed as well as having the months listed horizontally, we are working on the directionality of print. We also say the months and days aloud to hear the beginning and end sounds of words and we segment the words in many different ways. We find months of the year that rhyme as well as finding syllables.

Here is a list of the Kindergarten English Language Arts CCSS that we incorporate into our calendar time:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.1a Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.1c Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2a Recognize and produce rhyming words.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2b Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2c Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.


Using calendar to develop number senseWe then head into our numbers section of our calendar time. We count until we figure out the number of the current day (the 13th or the 29th, for instance). I then have students take turns counting by beginning from different numbers.





We use the Counting Caddie to talk about adding one each day. We use the weather graph to compare numbers and to understand that you have the same number no matter how you count them.

Counting CaddieWeather Graph

Here is a list of the Kindergarten Math CCSS that we incorporate in our calendar time.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.7 Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.

Making calendar time interactive for the students keeps them engaged while allowing you to cover several different standards in a 25 to 30 minute time frame. I'd love to hear what other standards you cover during your calendar time.

I can’t wait to see you next week. 

Comments (9)

We do something very similar however with the months of the year/Macarena song toward the end, instead of say “then we turn around”, we say “12 months in a year”, the children do a turn and start to sing the new 12 month cycle. I think I will have them clap to a beat the second time around. For days of the week we sing (tune Clementine) 7 days, 7 days, 7 days are in a week (repeat) to a beat we say the days, and end restating 7 days are in a week.

Would love to hear about 100 day activities.

My post for January 20th is about 100th day activities. I hope you enjoy it!

I like your post, and especially the singing! I teach K also, and we also add naming coins and their value "A penny is worth 1 cent" (for pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters) and practice names of 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes in complete sentences (i.e., "This 3 dimensional shape is a rectangular prism"). We also have a pattern (varied for each month) as each day one more card is added to the calendar. We start with ABAB patterns and move on to ABB, ABC, etc. Students take turns being the helper of the day (changes each day) and the student leads calendar time.

Hi! I have some of those calendar numbers in the patterns for a couple months. Most of my those that I've found for that are themed and I'm slowly trying to get a years worth. I appreciate you sharing because those are some really great ideas. Somedays it feels like everything I teach could be tied back to calendar time. LOL.

Patterned/theme calendar pieces are expensive, I make my own. have bit time consuming the first year, but once you a collection it becomes an awesome resource.

The music you use to go with the lessons is really clever! Do you find music suggestions somewhere or do you think the music selections up yourself?

I didn't come up with any of these. I just talked to and observed different teachers through the years and used what I loved! Using the James Taylor song I actually got from a fantastic teacher named Grace Williams! I hve been very blessed to be inspired by some awesome educators through the years!

Great post Brian!


My son sings all of these songs and does the coordinating dance moves many, many times a week. It makes my heart happy for two reasons--(1)I know that he is learning and having FUN while doing so, and (2) it is so darn CUTE!!!

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