If you know me, you know I just love calendar time. It is such a great way to gather with kindergarten or first grade students, go over the calendar, review some concepts, read stories, listen, share, and maybe even sing some songs. For more info on why I love it so much,check out my post here.
I adore my traditional Calendar Time area.This fun beachy-themed calendar area has always been my favorite. Recently, however, I have been exploring Google Slides more and more and have found that it is the perfect tool for creating a virtual calendar easily!
Here are some benefits of using a virtual calendar in your classroom
It can be used in person or virtually. After the last couple of years in the classroom, we are realizing the need for resources that can be used in the classroom AND virtually for distance learning. Teaching resources that are versatile enough to be used in both is essential these days.
They are easily customized. Google Slides are so easy to play around with and make it your own.
It can be easily reused year after year. While you can reuse physical products too, reusing digital items doesn’t require you to store anything or take up extra space. It can also be edited and personalized each year to fit whatever theme you want.
It saves money. If you are printing your resources, it will save you money on paper and printing costs to just do it virtually. Saving money in the classroom is always a plus!
Ready to explore virtual calendars yourself? I have you covered! I created thisVirtual Calendar templatefor teachers who want to simplify Calendar Time in the classroom.
These colorful Google Slides templates make it easy for you and fun for your students. They can easily be edited to add your own personal touch. This calendar comes with Google Slides to help you review time, days of the week, months, money, share your morning messages, birthday shoutouts, and more!
I always loved calendar time when I was in the classroom. In fact, it was the most enjoyable time of the day! If you don’t do Calendar Time in your classroom, you may be wondering what exactly it is.
Calendar time is a time during the day to come together as a class by the calendar. It is a great way to start the day or transition from one activity to the other. It also helps students because it is part of the daily routine and they know what to expect.
Some of my favorite activities for Calendar Time include:
Singing a song or two. This is such a fun way to let your students show their personality and have some fun. Add in dancing for extra physical activity!
Listen to others. Sharing stories or other important information is a great time to practice our listening skills.
Reviewing days and months. Use your calendar to review the days of the week and the current month. Repetition will have your students reciting it on their own in no time.
Review math skills. Reviewing during Calendar Time feels more fun and less like work. Take this time to review some essential skills you have been working on.
Talk about the weather to help students understand the daily weather and what it means.
Read a story. Select a book that relates to what you are working on that week and read it during Calendar Time while students are gathered close and can easily see the pictures.
This beach-themed decor bundle comes with matching decorations for your set up. It has six resources bundled in one using Hawaii photographs and watercolor clip art. How amazing does that sound?
Included you’ll get welcome banners, tropical word wall decor, growth mindset posters, labels, table numbers, center posters, Hawaii photo alphabet lines, name tags, editable classroom jobs, number posters, Where Are We signs, How I Get Home sign, and your calendar set with watercolors and so much more!
Organization can truly make or break a successful classroom. When dealing with a group of people, especially children, organization can create more effective use of time and easier transitions. In unorganized classrooms, students and teachers spend time finding materials or explaining what to do rather than focusing on content.
When students know routines and classrooms are organized, teachers can spend more time on the “meat” of teaching. With the demands placed on today’s teachers to provide rigorous instruction in a limited amount of time, classroom organization is key!
Organizing the physical space in a classroom helps students use materials effectively with ease. Here are some of my favorite classroom organization ideas.
Labeled bins are a necessity for small items such as math manipulatives. Students can then retrieve items and put them away with little intervention from the teacher. Label things like art supplies, construction paper, pencils, and other classroom tools.
Book bins are also helpful, as teachers can organize reading materials by genre, reading level, or even seasonal themes. You can create a section of your classroom for books only with different types in different colored boxes.
For individual desks or tables, frequently used materials should have specific homes. This way students can transition between activities easily and find the tools they need quickly.
Use a colored filing system for your own supplies so you can easily find resources for your lessons when teaching.
Create a substitute teacher bin. Store your sub plans and everything they will need in that. So if you ever need to take the day off, you know that everything is ready.
If you are working in a blended classroom or distance learning there are some other classroom organization ideas that may be helpful to keep your class running smoothly.
As many classrooms now operate at least partly in the virtual world, organization and routines are somewhat different than in previous years. Routines and classroom procedures are still of vital importance in order to keep the virtual or blended classroom operating smoothly.
Online safety rules should be practiced by the class and reviewed frequently in order to avoid issues on the internet. Teachers can use a google slide to go over the rules frequently until students know them well.
Daily calendar procedures can also be presented digitally, providing students with a routine that is organized and comfortable.
For blended classrooms, social distancing rules are important for the physical organization of students and transitioning between areas. Hang easy to understand signs around the classroom as a visual reminder for students to keep their distance. Putting tape on the floor to mark spots students should stand on to keep their distance may also help.
Using Google classroom, this bundle has everything you need to start the new year right. Social distancing rules are included, as well as virtual Meet the Teacher slides and online safety rules. Once your students are familiar with these routines, you’ll be set for a smooth year!
Organizing your classroom does require some prep work, but the benefits will last the entire year! What are your favorite classroom organization tips? Let me know in the comments!
If you are like me, you love to look at what other teachers are doing in their schools and classrooms to keep the school looking joyful during the holidays! One of my sweet friends and very talented teacher authors, Jamie Knefely shared the Christmas hallways teachers created for the holidays at her school! These will make your school hallways sing!
Door and Hall Christmas Decorations
This part of the hall is a traditional barn theme.
Santa’s Workshop Door and Hallway Christmas Decorations.
You and I both know that it would not be Christmas without the Grinch! Look at these amazing door and hall Christmas decorations for you school.
Want to try something a little different this holiday season? Try out this Louisiana Cajun Christmas themed hallway!
Even though Frosty is a little deflated, the amazing wall, window and door Christmas display makes you feel like he will come back to life any day now!