Getting Started with Every Day Counts Calendar Math: Grade K

Step 1: (30 minutes)

If you are new to Every Day Counts, read the front matter (p. 5-6) 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 & Clip Collection – 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. 21-26 and click on Samples – Photos and Questions K at

To create the Counting Tape, unroll and put up 25 feet of the blank Adding Machine Tape from the Every Day Counts Kit. Click on Samples on Home Page to see Sept Photos and Questions for this element. 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 cut into 3″ squares. You will attach a different color square to the Counting Tape each of the first ten days of school and then repeat the color pattern every ten days. Save a light bright color to use for Day 10 to make it stand out.

To create a place for the Clip Collection, use a 12″ x 18″ piece of construction paper and clip or pin the first paper clip in the top left corner. When introducing this element to the class, add enough clips to match the number appearing on the Days of School Counting Tape. You will begin a new chain each time a chain of ten collects. See Teacher’s guide, p. 25.

EDC Calendar – Beginning of September or 1st Month of School

Step 4: (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 on Samples – Photos and Questions K at

Prepare the Calendar by creating slits on slit marks using an Exacto knife or box cutter and placing a paper clip in each slit.

Pull out the three sheets of Calendar pieces for August or September. The month is printed at the bottom of the sheet.

Locate and cut apart the 1-31 Date Cards found within the Teacher Resource File Cardstock packet in the K EDC Kit (or create using the blackline in back of teacher’s guide). Display the pieces on the Calendar from first of the month up to the present day of the month. After the present date, some teachers choose to 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).

Step 5: Every Day Counts Birthday Graph

Color, label, and cut out a Birthday Basket for your first month of school from EDC Kit Teacher Resource Cardstock (TR 4). For students with birthdays in the first month of school place their names and birthdays on the Present Pictures.
At a later time complete the twelve Birthday Baskets using a different color for each one.

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 view/download Question Starter Cards click on ‘Samples – Photos & Question Cards’

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.