Interactive Classroom Calendar


This year I decided to do something I haven’t done before: create an interactive calendar.

The idea is that I want the children to take ownership of our community and our classroom, and one way to do that is by co-authoring our days. They will be responsible for shifting the days of the month when the month changes, and they will add a variety of events to our calendar: birthdays, field trips, presentations that they want to make to the class, pen pal letter deadlines, reading buddy visits, etc.

The board started as an old chalkboard. Here’s how I transformed it:

  1. I asked some children and parent volunteers to clean the old surface.
  2. I used painters’ tape around all the edges to make sure I didn’t get any primer or paint on the floor (note to self: I should have also put down a drop cloth!).
  3. I then used a roller brush (with the smoothest roller attached) to add a layer of magnetic primer (which I secured from Home Depot for around $10).
  4. I followed the drying directions on the can and waited about 30 minutes before reapplying the next layer. In all, I had enough primer to do three layers.
  5. I let the surface dry for 24 hours and then used chalkboard spray paint to spray over the magnetic primer (note to self: buy chalkboard paint in a can rather than as a spray next time!).
  6. I measured out my calendar and put light chalk marks to approximate where I wanted to put the tape.
  7. I used a light blue painters’ tape from the teacher supply store to create the calendar grid. Wal-Mart sells a darker blue that is also very nice.
  8. I used my computer to print out the months, days, seasons, and dates in English and Spanish. I then cut out everything. You can download the template here. I used five different colors and fed them through the printer in a pattern. I ended up with a few mistakes, but if you print the entire document on five colors, it will all work out.
  9. I ran everything through the laminator and trimmed around the edges.
  10. I cut a roll of magnetic tape into pieces and attached them to the numbers. I used tape to attach the days of the week (since those are permanent). Because the magnets were on a roll, I had to bend each piece backwards to get it to lay flat. I put two pieces on each number, since the magnetic board has a pretty weak attraction.

Voila! When the children want to add events, they will use sticky notes and small magnets. I’m also going to make a magnet with every child’s picture so they can put their picture next to their birthdays, presentations, etc.



Let me know if you have any questions!


One response to “Interactive Classroom Calendar

  1. Magnificent and truly a work of Montessori art! I love that you will have the kids add on to it.
    You need to patent and sell your amazing creations.
    Miss you ,

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