In Kindergarten we eventually will learn to tell time on the hour but for the moment teachers are working on your child’s sense of time. Does your child understand about the passing of time? Is your child able to correctly distinguish between yesterday and tomorrow? In my Kindergarten classroom we wrote in journals every Monday about what we did on the weekend. Sounds easy, right? Not so for a 5 year old. Anything that happened more than a few hours ago is a long time ago in the eyes of a 5 year old. In the fall, Kindergartners are not able to recall events that took place yesterday and often confuse them with events that took place months ago. In most Kindergarten classrooms, children work on the calendar every day and talk about TODAY, TOMORROW and YESTERDAY. We drill these words and talk about what we will do today at school, about what we did at school yesterday (or if it is a Monday, we talk about the weekend), and at the end of the school day we talk about what we will do tomorrow at school. With continual use of these time words, Kindergartners do begin to understand time and words that are used to describe time. Please begin to incorporate these words into your family’s vocabulary so that your child hears them not only at school but at home as well.
For now, teachers focus on building your child’s sense of time. Working with the calendar is a daily activity, and you can expect your child to learn the days of the week fairly quickly through songs and rhymes. Words like yesterday, today, and tomorrow will also be discussed.
In First Grade, learning calendar language is part of our daily math lesson. Most children understand the passing of time, and understand what the future means…but not all children get it. Why not? It is not important to them and they are not developmentally ready to understand abstract passing of time. Children do need to understand the reason we have calendars and parents, we ask that you use this language in your daily conversations with your child:
Today (name the day of the week) is…..
Tomorrow (name the day of the week) will be…..
Yesterday (name the day of the week) was….
We expect children to know the full date of today: for example:
Today is Friday, October 26, 2012
What are the days of the week?
If your child is looking at a calendar of this month and you ask him/her to point to the last day of the month and tell what day of the week it falls on, can he/she?
It is important for your child to hear you talk using calendar language such as: today, next Tuesday, last Monday, etc and continue to support your child as he/she learns about calendars and calendar language.