It’s mid May and the countdown to the end of the year is on! The end is coming and school will be over before you know it. There’s SOOO much to do! How will you get it all finished? The to-do list seems to be ever growing. My mind races between all the things to get done, finish file and organize end of the year portfolios, complete report cards, classroom inventory, clean up and organize the room, and of course we can’t forget yearbook signing day!
I have a love/hate relationship with yearbooks. I love how adorable they are and how they capture the big events of the year for my students. But, that comes at a price. I hate that not all of my students can afford a yearbook, and they end up missing out on all the photo memories of the year. Even worse, on yearbook signing day the students without a yearbook often sit back and watch their peers or try to pull out a scrap piece of paper to fit in.
The solution? I make memory books for each student in my class. Memory books have lots of pages in them that help students reflect on their year, What were the highlights? What was the favorite field trip? What was the funniest memory from the year? What are students most proud of learning? The memory books are a great way to keep kids engaged (and writing) at the end of the year, give each kids something to be signed for yearbook signing day, and give them memories to last a lifetime.
Memory books can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be. If you’re short on time, need something FREE and quick, you can grab yours here. If you’re a teacher who captures lots of photos, you can easily make a few photos pages to add into the memory books. I personally like to start memory books at the beginning of the school year. I use a plastic crate and make a file folder for each student to hold the custom memory book photo pages. On field trips, class plays, talent shows, etc. I like to take a class photo and a photo of a smaller groups of students. Then I make a custom memory memory book page writing a little blurb about the field trip and include the generic photo of the trip or whole class photo along with the smaller group photo. If you want to make it easier, you can just do a group photo rather than personalizing a page for each student. Once the special page is complete, I file them away. When the pages are filed into the student folders, the newest pages always get filed at the back of the stack so the book come out in order. At the end of the year, we used the book binder to bind all of the pages together. A parent volunteers does the book binding for me and that frees me up to do other end of the year tasks.
If you’re looking for a jump start, you can click here to get a peek at memory books for any grade in 1/2 page format. If you’d rather have a full page memory book, click here. My personal favorite memory book, half page. Why? It saves paper. It seems every year we are out of supplies and saving paper is a big deal. Smaller books are just plain more fun that a big sheet of paper. Student write neater when they are writing smaller.
- Memory Books for all grades – 1/2 page format
- Memory Books for all grades – full page format
- FREE Memory Book
- More End of the Year Memory Book Choices