5+ Great Reasons To Have a Calendar Math Routine

Easily spiral important primary math concepts by using a calendar math routine in your classroom. It is easier than you think!

Photo of laptop with January calendar and graphics with text, "5+ Great Reasons To Have a Calendar Math Routine"

Several years ago, I had a 2/3 combined class with more second-graders than third-graders, and quite a few students with special education needs.

I felt like there were gaps to close.

I created an interactive Calendar Math resource that engaged my students, got them excited about math, and took the prep work out of our math warm-ups for the day.

What does daily calendar math look like?

Scroll to the bottom of this post to see a new and improved 2020 version of my calendar resource for Google Slides and PowerPoint!

On the calendar page itself, we look at a wide variety of skills. We practice knowing the days of the week in the right order, counting patterns, ordinal numbers, patterning with the graphics, addition & subtraction, and concepts of time.

Here's an example of what a typical month might look like:

Image of calendar math in action.

Days of the Week

We begin with a days-of-the-week song and then quickly discuss the concepts of today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Most of my students have a solid recognition of the days of the week, but there are usually a few who need to consolidate this skill.

Ordinal Numbers

Next, we identify the date by dragging the date digits from the number bank on the left into the calendar space.


I have the next clip art image already in place for the day before we begin. 

At the beginning of the month, the students are so eager to guess what the pattern might be. We have many discussions about the "core" of a pattern, and how we need to see the core repeat before we can be sure there is a pattern occurring.

Once the pattern is established and the children recognize the core, they begin to make predictions about when we might see a particular shape again, or which shape will appear on a given day. 

They are encouraged to use strategies other than simply extending the pattern. In the example above, when the students noticed the diagonal trend of the images, they predicted that Halloween would have a pumpkin. They could see there will be a ghost on the Tuesday of that week, and the pumpkin happens two days later. Love it!!

Image of calendar math in action.

As the basic patterning became easy for my students, I began adding a second pattern. They now have to identify the attributes that are changing - size and shape - and identify the different cores of these patterns. And they can do it! 

Addition & Subtraction

Partway through the year, I introduced the possibility of using subtraction to find the difference between two dates on our calendar. 

We looked at the birthday on the 16th and the birthday on the 5th of the month. We found out how many days were between the two by using subtraction. 

Concepts of Time

With practice, my students begin to recognize the relationship between days and weeks, weeks, and months. They love using this knowledge to help with telling the number of days between events on our calendar. 

They no longer simply count all the days but instead use what they know about a jump down on the calendar to add 7 days.

Why the SMART Board?

You can do all of this learning with any calendar, but I love the interactive nature of the SMART Board and how it engages my students!

I have also included several calendar math pages in my interactive resource and provided a printable version that I sometimes have students complete independently. 

These are an excellent review of place value and representing numbers in a variety of forms: word form, expanded, money, and base ten blocks to name a few.

Image of calendar math activities.

On one of the last slides, we count the number of days we've been in school:

Image of calendar math counting page.

Using this page, we practice skip-counting patterns - 2s, 5s, and 10s. 

This is one area that I've seen a significant amount of improvement

The students can clearly see how skip-counting makes counting the number of days easier! 

They are also beginning to recognize when 2s are most effective, or when 5s or 10s would be a better choice!

What if I don't have a SMART Board?

I now have a new and improved calendar resource for Google Slides and PowerPoint available! It has some new additions beyond those features seen above and which you can see in this video:

How can I get started?

This fun, interactive resource is ready and waiting for you in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! The original resource is available in three levels - kindergarten, primary, and upper primary - and I have English, French, and Australian versions, too!

Take a look at the SMART Board versions right here:

Cover of calendar math resource.

And check out the 2020 updated version right here, available in English and French:

Cover of updated calendar resource.

You might also be interested in some other great ways to start your day! Check out this top post:

Image of morning work activities with text, "Super-Fun Ways to Start the School Day."

Take a look at more great SMART Board resources on this Pinterest board!

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Image of calendar math activity with text, "5+ Great Reasons To Have a Calendar Math Routine."


  1. Thanks, Erin! I just bought the older grade one. It looks great! My class will love it!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. Thank you for purchasing, Lisa! I'll be updating that version in the coming weeks as well. I'll let you know when it is ready!

      Enjoy the rest of your day!

  2. I really like the layout you have for this, do you have it for sale on teachers pay teachers? Or is there a way I can get this product?

    1. Hi Michelle!

      I actually have several versions of this available on TpT. You can find them by visiting shop.mrsbeattiesclassroom.com and look for "SMART Board Calendar Math" on the left side in my categories list.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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