Finishing Classroom Memory Books May 16 2010

Classroom Memory BookMany teachers choose to create classroom memory books as a special gift for their students and parents towards the end of the school year. When I was teaching Kindergarten and 2nd grade I enjoyed helping my students create these books with the help of volunteer parents.

Towards the beginning of the school year, you may have read the post about Classroom Memory Books. We have approximately one hundred crafts, games and activities on the Classroom Crafting with Carol page.  Many of these crafts and activities can be used for your students' classroom memory books. Teachers, let's use this page as a collaboration site.  In the comments section (below) teachers share additional ideas for memory books. Bookmarking this page in your browser right now will help you remember throughout the year where your'e at with your Classroom Memory Books.

Pages You May Choose to Include Any of the Following:

  1. Last Days Printable Book - This is a fun activity to complete towards the end of the school year. If you don't have much together this year for memory books, this is a great way to pull together something special fast.
  2. Stars from the “Star Student” Bulletin Board Each child’s star will be glued onto the Memory Book cover.
  3. Jack-O’-Lantern Photo Frame Insert a picture from an Autumn field trip, such as the pumpkin patch or the child wearing his/her costume.)
  4. My Favorite Things Book
  5. Family Tree I recommended that the Family Tree activity be kept confidential. So, if you are having volunteer parents help with the binding it would be best to just hand the Family Tree activity directly back to the student with the classroom memory books and not attached to the books. In other words, don't let parent volunteers see the Family Tree acitivity while they are doing the Classroom Memory book binding because the parents and students trusted you to keep it confidential. Just hand the Classroom Memory Books and Family Tree Books back to the students at the same time.
  6. Reading Log This was part of Reading Boxes Help with Beginning of the Year Reading Assessments. This is a great place to put the students' reading logs rather than having the students stuff them in backpacks towards the end of the year.
  7. Book Reports This was also part of the Reading Boxes Help with Beginning of the Year Reading Assessments.
  8. Writers’ Workshop and Winter Scene Shoebox Craft - Photo of the student standing next to their winter scence in a shoebox while holding their book. You can also glue the back cover of the winter books students created to a blank page and add this page to the Memory Book.
  9. Letter to Santa Free Template Make photocopies of the letters to keep for the memory books before you send them home.
  10. Baby Chick Craft, Math and Writing Lesson Photographs of students holding their baby chicks and writers' workshop books.
  11. Saint Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Trap Photographs of students' leprechaun traps.
  12. Hopping Into Writers’ Workshop this Fall Writers' Workshop notebook and outlines. Ask students to go through their Writer's Workshop folders and compile all their work, so it can be added to their Classroom Memory books. It's a good idea to put the notes and outlines in order by date, so they can see how they have grown as writers.
  13. Christmas Graham Cracker Houses Photographs of students next to their creations.
  14. Copies of any assessment you find appropriate. For example, if your students wrote the alphabet or writing styles (e.g. D'Nealian, Manuscript or Cursive) at the beginning of the school year, ask the students to write the alphabet again towards the end of the year. Keep the originals and add the dated copies (beginning of the year and end of the year) to the memory books.
  15. Add the reading level chart your school uses. Circle the reading level the student was at after completing his/her first reading assessment. Then, cirlce the reading level he/she jumped to at the end of the school year.

Recruite Help for Memory Book Binding:

It's absolutely crucial that you recruite help for this task. Dear Teacher, Please do not give yourself tendonitis doing this all by yourself. Ask a team of parent volunteers and any assistants working at the school if they can help with this. If you have regular classroom volunteers have them help you with this task. Be sure to keep the Family Tree out of the stack of bindings, so it remains confidential. If you don't have volunteer parents or assistants at the school to help you can have the students bind their own books.

Ways to Bind the Classroom Memory Books:

  • Book Binding Machine - If your school has a book binding machine parent volunteers or classroom assistants can punch holes and then bind the books with the plastic binding.
  • 3 Hole Punch and Yarn - To do this have the students use a 3-ring hold punch to punch holes in a few pages at a time. Explain how important it is to make sure the pages are lined up straight before they punch the holes. Then, students can use yarn to tie the books together.
  • Automatic Stapler - Have the students use the automatic stapler one at a time. Use the stapler three times (top, middle and towards the bottom of the page).

Giving Student the Memory Books:

On the last day of school hand each student his/her Classroom Memory Book and Family Tree Book. This can be done as a special classroom circle time activity on the last day of school. The books will be kept as a cherished memory and you will always be remembered as their teacher that year. Now, take a deep breath and relax. That was a huge job well done!