Interactive calendar mats are going to change the way you think about differentiated materials and morning meeting. Here’s why:
When I first started teaching, I struggled to make sure that my students had the differentiated resources and materials that they needed. There wasn’t a lot out there – especially for our Morning Meetings – so it was a constant struggle and a lot of work to prep everything for each student. I knew there had to be a better (and easier!) way.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love our morning meeting time. I like the routine that sets the day up for success, and I look forward to engaging my students in activities that challenge them, but that give them success first thing in the morning.
It’s a lot more motivating to try hard things throughout the day when your first experience of the day has been successful. Which is why I created differentiated Interactive Calendar Mats… and today I want to share them with you because I believe in how game changing they are for your students!
What are the Interactive Calendar Mats?
Since no two students are exactly alike, I made sure to create calendar activities that were the same – but differentiated in ways where all of my students could be working on the same skill. For example, while some students may need to circle the name of a month, others may be ready to write the word. This meant that I could finally address all of their needs using the same basic template.
In the Interactive Calendar Mats file, I included:
- over 60 pages in the Calendar Mat PDF file
- 6 different cover options (color and black and white)
- English and Spanish versions
The variety of resources in the file ensures that no matter where your students are academically, they will be able to complete calendar work successfully.
After implementing the Interactive Calendar Mats with my students, I found that their attitudes changed in the mornings, and they had greater success throughout the day. A little success can definitely go a long way!
How to Make the Interactive Calendar Mats
The beauty of this calendar resource is that once it’s made, it can be used throughout the entire school year. You can also change things up for individual students as they progress using different pages from the downloadable file.
I recommend using colored file folders as the background for the calendar pages because it makes them more engaging and a lot more durable. You can use full-size pages or create mini-calendar books by cutting the file folders in half. I have found that my students love the mini-books, and they are a lot easier to store throughout the year compared to the larger versions.
After you have the calendar pages adhered to the file folders, laminate them for durability. This also allows you to write on them with dry-erase markers. Once students have completed their calendar work for the day, they can erase the writing and have the booklet ready to go for the next morning.
While I prefer printing my interactive calendar pages out in color, I also included black and white versions of the pages because I know not everyone has access to color ink for their materials. Both work well and can be used effectively.
You can also create a calendar mat booklet for students too. This takes a little more prep and cutting, but it’s still an option!
Grab the calendar mat here.
What Others Are Saying About the Interactive Calendar Mats
While I am naturally a fan of the calendar mats, it is also important to hear what others have to say about the interactive mats and how they have worked with their students. You can see all of the reviews (there are over 1,200!) here. Some of my favorite thoughts are below and give insight into how effective these calendar mats can be.
“This is great for students to have a hand on tool for calendar time. They get to practice the skills rather than just receptively listening.”
“I was able to use this resource for my students in the classroom for face-2-face and virtual. It was a great resource for my special needs class.”
“This has transformed my morning meeting! I struggled to make a morning meeting as engaging as possible for my students and now I plan to use these every year! Thank you!!!”
“This resource has been great to help support our morning meeting. The visuals allow for some of my students to complete independently while I can focus on other student who may need extra support. It also has the variety to [lend] itself to different levels of learners. Great [resource] for our class!”
“My students loved utilizing this activity within daily calendar time when I taught in a self-contained 3-6th grade Autism/Multiple Disabilities classroom. Great way for students to learn and utilize basic calendar skills as well as add in some basic math activities.”
“I LOVE THESE! My kiddos are just starting to learn about the date and how to find it on a calendar. Doing these every morning has really helped them! And they have fun with it which makes us all happy. :)”
If you have been searching for the perfect interactive calendar time resource, you can check out the Interactive Calendar Mats here. They are sure to be a valuable resource for your students – no matter what level they are at academically!