Wednesday, September 7, 2016


When I am working, the day's date is quite important.  My students and I write the date several times a day and the date is used in any type of planning I do which happens all the time.  For my entire teaching career, I've had a large academic pocket chart calendar hanging in the front of the room and that calendar would get referenced often.
This year has been different though.  My school district adopted a new math program, and that program has a component that includes a daily calendar activity.  "The Calendar" process is something that kindergarten and first usually do - they count the number of days in school, learn the days/months, and represent the numbers in various ways (coins, tens/ones, etc), but few second grade teachers do because our math is more complex by then.  The calendar component in our program goes beyond the "old-school" way and allows for a lot of higher level skills and student discourse.  I mostly like it.
The one issue I have had is that the calendar date cards have patterns on them, and so they are kept turned around until that date so the students can make predictions.  It's a great learning activity, but it is useless to me as a calendar because I can't see the future dates.  For the first few days of the new school year I'd look up, kind of lost, looking for the date.  I thought about putting up my other calendar just to see the dates, but it's quite large and space is tricky.  A hanging wall calendar was an option, but then I decided a dry erase calendar would be best for my needs.  And since having a matchy-match cute classroom makes me a better teacher (said sarcastically) I decided it couldn't just be any old Staples' dry erase calendar.
I had seen some on Pinterest made out of picture frames, which was the direction I went.  I found a cheap frame at Target.  After taking the matting out, it had a 14"x18" opening.  Many measurement calculations took place to finally narrow down my sizing - 2"x2" squares evenly spaced around a 1-1/2 inch border.  I cut down post-it notes to the square size and used them to layout where I wanted everything.
One at a time the post-its were replaced with squares of red and blue cardstock.
I added little day-of-the-week tags at the time.   If I were to do it again, I would have moved everything down a bit in order to center the entire shape.  
Once inside the frame, it's completely customizable when using a dry erase marker.
August's calendar...
and September's.
I wish the blue matched the the blue of the boards a little better, but I thought the muted colors would be better to see the marker.  I'm happy with how it turned out, and it's made date planning much easier.


  1. How clever! I think you did a wonderful job!

    I love school supplies and I love seeing an elementary room all decorated for the year. I also love calendars and, despite the convenience of my phone calendar (which I use obsessively), I will always keep a large "plan ahead" calendar on my kitchen wall. In fact, I just got my one for 2017 a few weeks ago. :)

    1. Thank you! It erases very nicely as well, which was a bit of a concern. We laminate a lot of things in order to be able to write on in dry erase marker, but that often isn't really erasable after a few days. After a month, this one wiped off without any elbow grease at all.
      I love school/office supplies too!! And keep a paper calendar/planner, as I think I've mentioned. I CAN'T keep my life together though my phone. :)

  2. An excellent job. I'm not 100% how you use it but it sure looks good.

    1. Well, looking good is what's important, right?!?! ;)
      Technically how I use it or personally how I use it? If it's the technical use, I just write on the glass with the dry erase markers and it erases right off.
      For my own use, it's only purpose is really for the dates of the month to be visible to me for quick reference. This month I started to write on some extra items that don't happen every day, but it got too cluttered, so I think next time it will just have the dates on it. I have all that info in my planbook so it isn't necessary to be added to this.

  3. I am so impressed. I was in 8 schools today. I thought of you and all my other California friends in my head.

    1. Oh that's a lot of schools for the day. ONE is enough for me. :)
      It's funny about all the commercials and "news" reports about Tuesday being the first day of school. I just chuckle and think, "The first day of school?!?! I've already been in school a whole MONTH already!" The day after Labor Day is pretty anticlimactic here.

  4. Extremely clever -- a problem and a solution! Count me among the calendar lovers too!