Saturday, September 1, 2012

Every Day Counts Calendar Area Upgrades for 2012

I really needed to redo my calendar bulletin board.  It just wasn't my first priority when I was setting up my classroom last fall.  I was too focused on learning the new Math in Focus program, and didn't realize at first that we were supposed to teach the Every Day Counts calendar program TOO.  "Surely they wouldn't make us learn TWO new math programs in the same year?"  Wrong.  So it got off to a slow start, but after I signed up for additional training I got more excited about it.  By the end of the year I had made learning centers out of the measurement and fraction activities, which I was proud of.  But my display needed some work:




This year I've moved the calendar over and doubled the amount of space for it so that all the parts are together.  I upgraded the labels so that they are actually visible (and colorful) from a distance.  And although it's empty for now, I'll keep you posted with how the display evolves with student work. 


And the "counting tape" to show the multiples for each day of school had to go.  I needed a system that would result in the graphics not being damaged (so tape is out) and not falling off (like paper clipping them together in a chain, which didn't work so great last year).  So I used my old standby:  cutting slits for paper clips.  It never fails!  Here's the result:








Yeah...that was a lot of slits to cut.  Still, easy enough task to spread out over a week in the summer.  And now it's done, sturdy and clean looking thanks to the powers of lamination, and hopefully those multiples icons won't fall off.

***Update as of February***

Here is how the new Every Day Counts displays are progressing:



Not bad!  The fraction circles look a lot better now, and so do the labels.  I quickly realized the depositor money didn't work on binder clips, and the paper cups work better than the short lived plastic disposable ones that cracked.  They're not as pretty, so I might need to work some Duck Tape magic on them.  I think a few changes are needed for next year, though:
  • I did realize I need to work from right to left in order to end with the shorter columns above the doorknob.  
  • Also, I don't think I will keep the blank measurement pages posted; it looks too cluttered. I'll relegate them to my worksheets filing tub. 
  • I think I might just need a third panel devoted to math next year.  The vocabulary terms alone need at least half a panel as the year goes on, and I'd like to do a better job of organizing them. 
  • My Depositor Record sheet just didn't work for this group!  They are having such a hard time with the concept of keeping a running tally, adding a new total to the old total.  Yikes.  For now I'm going to keep modeling, but I know I need to come up with an easier way to help them learn it faster.
  • The management system needs an overhaul if next year's class is anything like this one.  This group is just not at all independent, and although the goal is to have students run the calendar, it's still very teacher directed at this point in the year.  I think I'll need a "math job chart" instead of leaving it to early finishers to select a task and do the updating.  I might do "at a glance" tips that change specific to the month in order to help kids remember what to do, as well.



2 comments :

  1. Never thought of the paper clip idea for the counting tape. It was a pain at first, but I laminated and cut those pieces (I think they were in sheets fresh out of the kit and now that they're broken apart it would be even worse). Now I can use tape to attach each piece and the tape tears off cleanly at the end of the year. I use post it notes to record the day of school - yellow for odd days, orange for even and pink for multiples of 10 just to help identify patterns. Something to think about! Good luck!

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  2. I thought about laminating and tape, but all that cutting sounded like a nightmare! Then again, punching all those slots for paper clips was a lot of work too. That being said, those clip cards DID hold up pretty well.

    I think I will try the post its for the days of school count; the little black numbers I created didn't work out. I think having them stick up on an upside down post it would work better. Thanks for the idea!

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