kitchen table math, the sequel: what is one year?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

what is one year?

I made my Big Calendar today.

Today is Day 1; the last day, Day 420, is October 22, 2011.

I had no idea there was so little time in a year.

Debbie Stier's big calendar
the big picture
blank calendar template (pdf file) 
self-charting increases motivation 
what is one year?  


Catherine Johnson said...

Andrew LOVES the Big Calendar.

He's lobbying to go back to school, and Ed's been trying to tell him school doesn't start til September 7, which is hard 'cause the whiteboard calendar in the kitchen is still on August.

When Ed showed Andrew the Big Calendar he was riveted.

Catherine Johnson said...

The key to the Big Calendar is continuous weeks. There's no break for months; there are just successive weeks.

I had no idea how all that extra white space on monthly calendars was translating to extra time inside my mind. When I taped all the blank calendar templates to the board, I was disappointed because only 10 months fit.

that since I was running the weeks continuously, there would be more than 10 months, of course, but I had no idea 10 sheets of paper = 420 days.

The yellow patches are the names of the months.

Days of the week are in the black headings.

Catherine Johnson said...

Andrew just put his school backpack on.

I just heard Ed saying to Andrew, "Do you want to look at Mommy's calendar again?"

Now Ed says Andrew has put his backpack on.

It's 7:31pm Sunday evening.

School starts 9/7.

Allison said...

If there are 7 days in a week, and 6 rows of weeks on a page, how many days are there in 10 pages?


Catherine Johnson said...

white space will fool you every time

at least, it will fool me

Catherine Johnson said...

420 days sounds like a lot to me and looks like a little

I had a slight existential crisis over the Big Calendar this afternoon

Catherine Johnson said...

Now I'm thinking I should have made the days go left to right, all the way across....

I wonder if Big Calendar will prevent me from spending part of Day 2 printing out new calendars & scotch-taping them to Big Calendar in order to create a more-perfect Big Calendar?

Liz Ditz said...

Back in the day (ieeee!) 15 years ago when I had 3 kids in school, there was a write-on/wipe off calendar in the style you have demonstrated. So I had two, side-by-side: the 24 in x 36, one-whole-year in polychrome calendar, which had the simple, recurring stuff (a)at the time, my stepchildren were spending one week chez us & one week chez mom, but that might change if mom had to travel or we had a plan etc. (b) school changes like minimum-day, holiday, testing etc. (c) weekly/monthly things like board meetings, PTA etc.

And a big (I think 18 x 24) paper calendar that had detailed individual daily stuff like sports practices, who had to be where etc.

This worked for us, but it took some thought & maintenance.

Catherine Johnson said...


I'm impressed.

My Big Calendar won't hold a lot of stuff -- so we'll see how that works.

At the moment, the point is to give us all a MUCH better sense of time (and its limits) in the sense of days, weeks, & months.

Catherine Johnson said...

When I first looked at my Big Calendar, I though: Wow. I'm going to be disabled and dying way sooner than I was thinking.


"nothing lasts forever": that's a core message of the Big Calendar for a person like me....

concernedCTparent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
concernedCTparent said...

I'm reading Rafe Esquith's most recent book, "Lighting Their Fires". As happens more often than not when I check in with KTM, I find synchronicity abounds.

One of the very first chapters of "Lighting Their Fires" is about teaching children the importance of time-- not just time management per se-- but time as a concept all on its own. In his candid discussion of the value of punctuality, the relativity of time, using time wisely, and so on, the chapter is peppered with wonderful quotes and references to "time".

"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time given to you." Gandalf, in J.R.R. Tokien's "Lord of the Rings".


"I wasted time, and time doth now waste me." King Richard, "Richard II" ~Shakespeare.


Emily: Do any human beings realize life, while they live it? Every, every minute?

Stage Manager: No, the saints and poets-- maybe they do some.

"Our Town" ~Thornton Wilder

I love this book. It's really a gem.

August 30, 2010 11:45 AM

lgm said...

My favorite from Rafe Esquith is "There are no shortcuts".

concernedCTparent said...

Love that book too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, today is (was) Day Zero. It's a mistake similar to saying a newborn is 1 day old. She would be zero days old until 24 hours have passed.

When I was about 20 (When the Apple II computer was hot) I made an "
infinite" calendar out of a roll of paper about 3 feet wide and dozens of feet long. Each line held one week. (The day and the week are my natural units of time). Rolling it showed the passage of time. It was vastly energizing to suddenly see my life organized as repetitions of a day and a week.