Getting Started with Every Day Counts Calendar Math: Grade 1

Step 1: (30 minutes)
If you are new to Every Day Counts, read the front matter (p. 5-9) in the Every Day Counts teacher’s guide and August/September (p. 16-17). This will help you get to know the EDC elements and how to set up for the start of school.

Step 2: (5 – ? minutes)

Examine your room set-up to find the best place to display Every Day Counts so that all students can see all the elements. A bulletin board is handy for pinning up the materials, but if such a board is not present or not in a good location for viewing, many teachers have been able to place the calendar and other elements on a wall, whiteboard, or chalkboard using tape or magnets. Some have even placed a science display board or sheet of foam core in the chalk tray to tape, or pin elements to using T pins. If possible, it is nice to place Every Day Counts where you can gather the children up close to view the Calendar and other elements.

EDC Counting Tape & Totally Ten – Day of School

Step 3: (25 min. prep) Begin 1st day of school or catch up to present Day of School

See T. Guide, p. 24-27 and click ‘Back to Main Menu’ button and select ‘Aug/Sept Beginning of the Month Elements’.

To create the Counting Tape, unroll and put up at least 15 feet of the blank Adding Machine Tape or sentence strips. The Counting Tape needn’t be in the same part of the room as the other elements on the board as long as everyone can see it.

Collect 10 colors of 9 x 12 construction paper and use three of the colors for now to cut into 3” squares. You will be attaching squares of the same color on each of the first ten days of school and then change the color after every ten days to 100.

Locate the blue, red and white Ten Grids poster in the Every Day Counts® Kit or assemble with a 6″x 12″ blue, a 12″ x 12″ red, and a 6″ x 12″ white piece of construction paper. Make slits to insert paper clips to hold the ten grids. Attach one Ten Grid from the Every Day Counts Kit Teacher Resource Cardstock or by copying TR 9. Use blue dots in the top row and red dots in the bottom row of the Ten Grid to match the number appearing on the Days of School Counting Tape. See Teacher’s guide, page 25.

EDC Clock – Day of School

Step 4: (5 min. prep) Begin early in the school year.

See T. Guide, p. 24-27 and click ‘Back to Main Menu’ button and select ‘Aug/Sept Beginning of the Month Elements’.

Pull the Clock from the Every Day Counts Kit Cardstock (TR 8) or print one copy. Place it inside one large clear pocket or laminate it. Punch through all the layers using scissors point or an exacto knife to attach one long minute hand from the Every Day Counts Kit to the outside of the Clock with a brass paper fastener (not in EDC Kit). If you don’t have a hand from the Kit, cut a hand out of cardstock or a file folder and color it black. Use overhead transparency pens (NOT dry erase, because they will stain the pocket or laminate) to fill in one minute for each Day of School, alternating the color every five minutes. Note: Some teachers substitute using a sheet protector to hold the clock in order to be able to use dry erase pens or make a new one each year, forgoing the write on/wipe off feature.

EDC Calendar & Birthday Graph – Beginning of September or 1st Month of School

Step 5: (25 minutes prep) No lamination needed. Begin the 1st of September or catch it up to present day in September.

Note: If you begin school in August or are year round, you may choose to use the August pieces for your first month of school. August and September reveal the same basic pattern.

See T. Guide, p. 18-20 and click ‘Back to Main Menu’ button and select ‘Aug/Sept Beginning of the Month Elements’.

Prepare Calendar by creating slits on slit marks using an Exacto knife, box cutter, or sharp pair of scissors, and placing standard or large-size metal paper clips (not in some EDC Kits) in each slit. Some teachers tape the rows of clips down on the backside of the calendar to keep them from popping out during the year.

Pull out ONLY the first three sheets of Calendar pieces for August or September. The month is printed at the bottom of each sheet. Leave the other sheets of calendar pieces undisturbed at this time!

Pull apart or cut out the pieces and display them on the Calendar from the first of the month up to the present day of the month. After the present date, place each piece face down under each paper clip (so they can be turned over one at a time on each new day of the month).

Prepare Birthday Package Tags from Every Day Counts Kit Teacher Resource Cardstock (TR 14) to mark the August or September month’s birthdays on the Calendar. Color one Birthday Package for this month to display near the Calendar. See T. Guide, p. 30-31.

By October 1st, prepare all the Packages and display them in order from January to December. See T. Guide, p. 32.

EDC Number Builder – Combinations for 5

Step 6: (10 min. prep) Begin early in September.

See T. Guide, p.21-23, and click on Samples – Photos and Questions 1 at

Use a sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper or tape together two 11 x 8 1/2 sheets of cardstock with the finished Number Builder mat having the horizontal dimension be the longer side. (Laminate, if available.) See photo to cut 4 slits about each 3.5 inches below top edge and 3.5 inches apart. Cut another 4 slits 3.5 inches below these. Insert 12 paper clips and secure them on the backside with tape. For September, attach two clear pockets from your Every Day Counts Kit or two snack-size Ziplocs on the left side of the mat. See T. Guide, p. 21.

You are done!

This is everything you will need to begin sharing the September elements with your students. September requires the greatest preparation time. Next month you will continue to use these materials and add in a couple of new items. By November all the elements will be introduced reducing preparation time for the remaining months.

To see Question Starter Cards click on SAMPLES:
The note cards you see accompanying each photo with starter questions can be printed as PDF files, cut apart, and mounted on 5×7 note cards for your easy reference during Every Day Counts discussions. During the month, please add to your cards questions of your own design or questions from your reading that you want to remember to try out. Some questions should aim at simply having students examine the data and describe what they see. Others questions should require students to engage in higher level thinking, requiring them to reason, analyze, make predictions, and form generalizations about concepts being explored each month.