K–2: Math
Calendar Math Activities
Many primary classes begin their morning with calendar activities. Students
start their school day by working on various activities that contain aspects
of math, science, and social studies. They learn about days of the week,
months of the year, days in a school year, the concepts of before and
after, various counting skills, and many more concepts.
I discovered a Web site called About
Today's Date, which contains fascinating facts about each day of the
year from a mathematics perspective. It can be used to enhance your class's
daily calendar work.
The first section of the page takes the number of the month — for
example, 5 for the month of May — and offers these mathematical facts:
 Five is a prime number.
 We have five digits on each hand and foot.
 Penta means five; therefore, a pentathlon is an athletic
contest with five events and a pentagon is a figure with five sides
and five angles.
 There are five Olympic rings.
 When you cut through an apple "the wrong way" you get a fivepointed
star.
 Fivefold symmetry is found in apples and plants in the rose family.
 There are five vowels in the English alphabet.
The second section of the page focuses on the date of the month — for
example, 16 for May 16. It then gives similar math figures and facts matching
the date:
 There are 16 ounces in a pound.
 The number 16 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2; 16 = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7; 16 is a 4x4 square.
 Sixteen pieces are used by each player in a game of chess.
 Caterpillars typically have 16 legs until they emerge from their chrysalis
as a butterfly or moth when they have only 6 legs.
 A sixteenmo is a book made by folding each sheet of paper
into 16 leaves.
I take my class to this Web site several times a month as part of our morning
calendar activities. I choose several interesting — and ageappropriate
— facts to read aloud and discuss with the children. We also have a
math activity in which students collect and record information on various
types of number combinations, such as doubles or pairs, trios, quartets,
quadruplets, and so on. We use this information for work on counting patterns
and beginning multiplication story problems. The "About Today's Date" Web
site adds interesting information and a worldwide perspective to the studentmade
lists.
— Mary Kreul



Tour Itinerary
About Today's Date
http://richardphillips.org .uk/number/

