Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Calendar

Just like the world map and the number grid, which you could  display in your child’s room or the classroom for meaningful and contextual learning, you could put up a small calendar somewhere too. There are many printable templates available online or better yet you could take a blank sheet of A4 or A3 sized paper (depending on your child’s age) and make a grid on it. In fact it’s better you make it yourself as you can have your child practice drawing out the columns and rows and a lot of thinking goes into it in terms of how many lines will be needed and how you will organize the space on the paper. For the first few turns, display how you make straight lines and as the child understands and is ready to give it a try, allow her to draw it out herself.

Once you have the grid, mark the year, month, the days of the week and the dates. Do it in front of your child, say out the words clearly and keep giving her information like ‘There are 7 days in a week’, ‘We are in the month of October now’, ‘This year is 2014’, ‘Daddy’s birthday is in this month’, ‘This month has 31 days’, etc. As your child learns how to write the numbers and a few words, have her draw/write down important events of the days, mark the weather for each day, her feelings etc.

The calendar not only serves as a good record of happenings and upcoming events of the month but is also packed with literacy and numeracy skills. For example, when you write down ‘dad’s birthday’ and draw a little picture of a cake next to it, your child will develop picture-word association and in turn will be learning some important decoding skills of reading. Similarly, when she attempts to ‘write’ words like ‘sunny’, ‘rainy’, ‘happy’, ‘sad’ she will be learning/ practicing encoding skills.

The child exercises her Math skills by counting the days up to an event, keeping a track of yesterday, today and tomorrow, writing numbers, estimating how many lines she will need to make the grid, etc.

Motivation will be high for this activity as it is real and personal to the child. It also puts her in the habit of keeping a track of her routine and remembering important events.