Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkey Calendar

When I saw the calendar pattern that Little Miss Kindergarten did with turkeys, I just had to try it! And then when I saw the Fancy Nancy handprint turkeys at Almost Unschoolers, I wanted to include that idea. (Both of these bloggers are brilliant!) With their great ideas and a free online lesson from The Math Learning Center, you can do this, too! Before Thanksgiving!

Here's the plan:

1. Read Fancy Nancy Our Thanksgiving Banquet. You'll be inspired to create fancy handprint turkeys.

2. Read Setting the Turkeys Free(link below). In this adorable book, "A young boy uses his hands, paint, sequins, and everything imaginable to make beautiful turkeys in his picture. Soon his imagination takes over, and the turkeys take on a life of their own."

3. Have kids make a set of 30 fancy handprint turkeys on squares that will fit into a calendar pocket chart. (I use the large one.) If you want to have multiple access points to your pattern, use two background colors like Little Miss Kindergarten did. I used only one background color.

4. Print this free lesson plan from The Math Learning Center for a butterfly calendar: C3 Flying Butterflies. (You'll find it under "geometry.") The lesson calls for you to print butterflies calendar grid cards (also free) and have the kids explore the pattern as the butterflies point in four directions: up, to the right, down, to the left. Follow the lesson, using turkey cards instead of butterflies. To do this, you'll want to arrange the pattern for yourself first, then add dates to the cards so that the date is always in the correct location, even when the turkeys turn.

5. Do the lesson with your classroom or homeschool child. You can do it with one card at a time (if you start on Nov. 1st) or do a week or more of cards at a time if you start later in the month. We've been doing about a week at a time.

In doing this with a 5.75yo, I found it helpful to add some additional support, both to recognize the pattern and to understand direction. I tried a lot of things:

*I had the child point each direction as we reviewed each card. As we reviewed each card, we also chanted the direction aloud: "up, to the right, down, to the left...up, to the right, down, to the left."
*When the pointing seemed a little weak, I added whole body movement. We stretched to the ceiling, moved to touch a chair to the right, touched the floor, and moved to touch a chair to the left.
*When the directions/pattern still seemed a little weak, we made a pointer with our Purplinker and pointed in each direction as we chanted through the pattern.
*I made a bunch of arrow cards (see pink in photo) and had the student put the cards in each pocket to show (again!) which direction the turkey feathers were pointing.

The student started to be able to predict the pattern with some consistency around day 15. So he didn't find this pattern easy. But it's so worthwhile! Anybody else know teenagers...perhaps adults...who still don't know right from their left? ;)

Note: Behind each of our turkeys you can see the white cards peeking out which contain our daily journal entries. It works great to put the calendar pattern in front of each entry.

Thank you!: This lesson is thanks to The Math Learning Center, Little Miss Kindergarten, and Almost Unschoolers. Linking up to stART and TGIF Linky Party.

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  1. Love the handprint turkeys. We've been talking about spatial relationships a lot lately. This would be a great activity for that... my little guy is a little young still (only 3.5) so maybe we could just do up and down? I'll have to think on how to modify but I love the idea of combining spatial relationships and patterns.

  2. That's great - I love how you took the ideas and ran with them!

  3. Super cute!! I wanted to invite you to link up at TGIF -
    BETH =-)

  4. Great idea! LOVE it! Just popped over from TGIF.

  5. "Setting the Turkeys Free" looks like a great book to read around Thanksgiving time. I am definitely checking our library to see if we have it. Thanks for the recommendation. By the way . . . I LOVE the turkey handprint calendar idea. It soooo reminds me of my teaching days using Number Corner which I dearly miss. I hope you'll stop by my blog, A Learning Journey, to see what we've been up to this year.

  6. I needed November calendar markers -t hanks for reposting this in your feeds!!! Also I see this now Thank you!!!

    1. You are so welcome. We LOVED this series of lessons!

    2. Turned out to be a fantastic problem solving project in so many ways and now we've got a colorful November calendar filled with turkey handprints and one dog handprint cause her birthday is this month and that's how we roll.

    3. That is AWESOME! Love the dog handprint addition!!!! :)


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