I believe calendar time executed with intentional planning is as important as small group and center time within the course of a preschool day. In my classroom we use a deconstructed calendar which consist of a large magnetic oil pan and three 10 frames (since some months have 30 or 31 days).
A deconstructed calendar is a traditional calendar broken into small purposeful parts. It can consist of a number line, 10 frames, or any other way the teacher chooses to illustrate number knowledge.
Each morning during circle time we add a magnetic circle to the ten frame and then use magnetic numbers to build the number to represent quantity
The month labels are interchangeable, I try to include a symbol next to the month for symbol/word association. The month label is small because it is not the focus of our learning but we do incorporate it because the months are relevant to our school year and our lives (vacations, seasons, birthdays, etc.)
A few intentional math skills we work on during calendar time include:
1 to 1 correspondence
Concepts of quantity
How numbers and counting apply to the world around us
Sets of 10
I am so glad we took cues from our children to reconstruct calendar time to meet the needs of our classroom!
Live to Learn