10 August, 2011

A New Perpetual Calendar

The huge news in my life is . . . drum roll please . . .

I have a new job!  

I will be working in an independent school, in one of the two PreKindergarten rooms!  I am thrilled and very anxious to begin setting up my new classroom.  I have been working like a busy bee cleaning out and preparing, and tomorrow I will begin moving in my own materials! Fabulous!

One of the things I will be moving in is a brand spanking new, magnetic dry erase perpetual calendar.  I made it myself for very little money, and not too terribly much time.  You can do it too!

Why did I make it?

The real reason is that I am really picky about my classroom calendar.  It has to have certain elements, and not have others.  I know this is really picky, but honestly I have good reasons for each "required to have" or "required not to have" element

Required to have:

  • Dates must be listed for the entirety of the month at the beginning of the month 
This is so the children can see all the dates (numbers) in order any time they look at the calendar, and aren't fishing in a basket for a number they can say, but not identify in its written form.  That skill comes later in the year.
  • Each day of the week must be written out in its entirety (Sunday v. Sun or "S")
This is so the children become familiar with the days as they sounds and are written.  Abbreviation work also comes later, after children have learned the full names of the days
  • Each date must have room to write any special events that may occur such as field trips
This is so the children have a reference point for upcoming events as well as past events.  "How many days is it until . . . ?"

Required not to have:

  • velcro circles on empty circles, waiting for the children to put the date on
The velcro circles bother me from an aesthetic point of view, but as I said earlier, I think it is vitally important for all the dates to be visible right from the beginning of the month rather than having the children find the date each day
  • lots of bright patterns and colors
The individual markers for each day can be more fun and change with each month, but having the whole calendar decorated is too distracting

So with these self imposed guidelines in mind, I have always created a new calendar each month, like this one (below.)

I used poster board and wrote in the dates leaving room for any necessary notes.  Somehow however, the end of the month always seemed to coincide with 800 other things to do in the classroom, and making a new calendar was never very high on the "to do" list.  Likewise making 10 months of calendars, over the summer, didn't appeal to me very much.

So this year I finally worked on a new perpetual calendar!  It has all that it should, and none of the things it shouldn't!  Perfect right?

I made it with sheet metal left over from a recently closed manufacturer. The sheet metal company gave it to me!  How fabulous is that?  I am so grateful to them for donating to teachers.  Thank you ESM!  After I brought it home I . . .

  • peeled the protective coating from the metal
  • marked off the calendar grid with black artist's tape
  • sealed the grid with ModPodge
  • used number stickers to mark 31 wooden disks
  • glued magnets to the disks
  • sealed them with ModPodge - I am a big fan of the ModPodge as you can tell.  : )
  • marked the days of the week with stickers
  • added the month to the top with magnets
  • decorated with edge of the calendar with the "marker" magnets - to be used to mark individual days
Oh, and did I mention it can also be marked with dry erase markers?  Perfect!!!

Poof!  The whole thing cost me less than $10, and now all I have to do each month is adjust the dates, and make a new month label.  'Cause all teachers have better things to do than mark out a new calender grid each month.  Right?  We have baking projects to prepare, and paint brushes to wash, and children to inspire!  : )

What projects have you ticked off your list this summer?

Later this week:  Preparing the Classroom Environment: The Third Teacher


  1. oh! I'm the same way with my calendar! I made ours out of a large cork board and use push pins. Which I actually stopped using for a few years when Sunshine was a babe 'cause...push pins always fall...but THIS! BEAUTIFUL! and I'm sooo blog lifting it!



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