May 27, 2017

First Grade Memories

The end of the year is a happy, yet sad time.  My students have become a family.  It’s amazing when I look back and see how they have grown academically as well as socially.  You learn their personalities, likes and dislikes, and anything else that makes them tick.

I wanted to start our memory books earlier but we just didn't have the time.  I wanted to do something different this year.  I usually have the students complete a paper memory book, but I don’t think they last very long.  To be honest, they really don't hold any memories.  I think the students need to see pictures to truly remember our first grade moments.  We do have yearbooks but many of my students don’t purchase yearbooks.  Even with the yearbook, there are only two pages dedicated to showcasing our class for an entire year! 

I take LOTS of pictures during the 180 days I have my kiddos.  I print at least four pictures out each month that shows a certain activity that we worked on.  I display them on a closet door. 

I also take pics of the students when they master a sight word list. 

I have an area in my room where the sight words pictures are displayed. I also like to send that picture through ClassDojo to parents.  

This year I let the students pick between 8-10 pictures to include in their memory book.  They shopped for pictures first. 

I would put more pictures out as each desk became empty.  I had almost 400 pictures available for the students to choose from!  I didn’t print these all at once.  I would print some each month and keep them in a file.  Thank goodness for the HP Instantink program.  Printing in color is now inexpensive because I don’t have to worry about running out of ink and the cost of the cartridge!

After my students picked out their pictures they taped them onto paper, using washi tape. 

I had a ton of washi tape that I ordered from Naeir.   The washi tape was easy for them to rip.  

We completed these in one day.  I would laminate the book as each student finished.  It took some time but I was able to complete all the laminating and hole punching in one day.  I used the smaller laminating sheets which I also purchased from Naeir.  The smaller sheets are thicker which made for a sturdy book. It was a great activity for the last few days of school when you want to keep as much structure as possible. The final project looked great!

I put the memory books inside their end of the year gift bag.  

My students were so proud of their memory books.  They really took their time in picking out the pictures and creating the books! 

Did you notice the ribbons?   I LOVED how they turned out!  My friend had ribbons from a dog show and she shared a set with me.  I ripped off the front and hot glued the cute classroom awards printout from Allyson Sutton Going Strong in Second Grade They fit perfectly after shrinking the awards a little. 

My students got a kick out of the awards! 
What type of memory books do you have your students make at the end of the year?

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