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May 2, 2018

How to Make a Classroom Memory Book

By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    With spring break in the rearview mirror, teachers are starting to figure out which of the remaining standards and themes they have time to cover. Something else on the teacher horizon are end-of-year gifts for students. One of my favorite activities that combines both goals is to make a class book about what we learned during the course of the year. In the past, this activity has taken a long time to complete, but the results are always wonderful because each child has a record of what they and their classmates accomplished to share with their families.

    Having done this for several years, I have found a good routine that seems to move the project along. First, we talk as a class and create a list of all the different things that we learned this year. Then, each child is assigned one of the topics that we wrote down on our list. Next, each child draws a practice picture illustrating the topic and writes a sentence or two. How much they write depends on the students' ability. There is no prescribed number of words for this.

    While searching for ideas to make my life easier this year, I discovered this "What I’ve Learned" sheet on Scholastic Teachables. Using the form helps prompt my young writers into recalling all the many things they learned in kindergarten.

     

     


    After the students have worked on their own, filling in the worksheet, we then conference to fine-tune the ideas. They then go back to their papers and redraw their picture and rewrite their sentence(s) in pencil onto their final paper.

    When they are satisfied with their re-work, I go back with a fine point pen and trace over their picture and text.

     

    At this point, the students are ready to color their picture.


    Finally, I make copies and compile all the worksheets into class books as a highly personalized memento of the students' year in my class.

    The "What I've Learned" printable is a great one-off activity for these waning days of the school year. Don't worry though if you don't have enough time left in your school year to get a full book put together. Just have the kids fill out the individual sheets. But I am especially pumped to incorporate it into my class book project. This sheet really helped my kids create better sentences on their final copy. I love the scaffolding that the sheet provides as they think about the topic that they chose to contribute to our class book. It is also a source of pride and wonder for the kids to have evidence of all they learned in the course of this important year in their school life.

    This a great souvenir of the year, and one that parents contact me about years later to report that their student still loves to go back and flip through it from time to time.

    Connect with me on my website, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

    With spring break in the rearview mirror, teachers are starting to figure out which of the remaining standards and themes they have time to cover. Something else on the teacher horizon are end-of-year gifts for students. One of my favorite activities that combines both goals is to make a class book about what we learned during the course of the year. In the past, this activity has taken a long time to complete, but the results are always wonderful because each child has a record of what they and their classmates accomplished to share with their families.

    Having done this for several years, I have found a good routine that seems to move the project along. First, we talk as a class and create a list of all the different things that we learned this year. Then, each child is assigned one of the topics that we wrote down on our list. Next, each child draws a practice picture illustrating the topic and writes a sentence or two. How much they write depends on the students' ability. There is no prescribed number of words for this.

    While searching for ideas to make my life easier this year, I discovered this "What I’ve Learned" sheet on Scholastic Teachables. Using the form helps prompt my young writers into recalling all the many things they learned in kindergarten.

     

     


    After the students have worked on their own, filling in the worksheet, we then conference to fine-tune the ideas. They then go back to their papers and redraw their picture and rewrite their sentence(s) in pencil onto their final paper.

    When they are satisfied with their re-work, I go back with a fine point pen and trace over their picture and text.

     

    At this point, the students are ready to color their picture.


    Finally, I make copies and compile all the worksheets into class books as a highly personalized memento of the students' year in my class.

    The "What I've Learned" printable is a great one-off activity for these waning days of the school year. Don't worry though if you don't have enough time left in your school year to get a full book put together. Just have the kids fill out the individual sheets. But I am especially pumped to incorporate it into my class book project. This sheet really helped my kids create better sentences on their final copy. I love the scaffolding that the sheet provides as they think about the topic that they chose to contribute to our class book. It is also a source of pride and wonder for the kids to have evidence of all they learned in the course of this important year in their school life.

    This a great souvenir of the year, and one that parents contact me about years later to report that their student still loves to go back and flip through it from time to time.

    Connect with me on my website, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

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