Memory Book

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Memory Book - I make a special Memory Book for every child in my class every year. The pages may change some from year to year, but I have included some photos of some sample pages. I use djinkers clip art and fonts to print up the headlines and poems. My memory book is put together on 12" x 18" construction paper. I only laminate the cover and back cover. I do not bind the book together ahead of time because I never know what pages I might add with each new school year. I keep up with the pages from month to month and store them at home until I am ready to put them together. I alphabetize all of the pages before I put them away. Be sure to check that you have everyone's page before you put them away, so you do not have to pull things out to complete a page in May when you are trying to finish. Plus the kids think it's weird to be wearing a Santa Hat in May!

If you are looking for a good book to help you get started making Memory Books, I love CTP's Making Memories Month by Month: by Kathy Wootton (CTP 2399).

It has blacklines for a self-portrait, many poems and writing activities for each month. Julie Torkelson at Katie and Company has a Memory Book Madness pack that is also really good.

I would like to thank my former teaching partner, Kristin Ritter, for getting me started with Memory Books many years ago. She was right about how the parents and kids think that they are the best thing ever. They are worth every minute of the time that it takes to put them together.

Cover - For the cover, I make a silhouette of each child's head on black construction paper. I use an overhead projector to make the shadow on the paper that is taped to the wall. Start with the nose and chin because that is the most important feature.

A teacher recently shared with me the idea of taking a digital photo of the child's profile and printing the largest size and then cutting that out and tracing on the black. It sounds a lot easier than having the child sit still.

The first page in each students Memory Book has a form that each child took home and filled out about his/her First day of School. You can make up you own. My form just starts out "Today is _____ and it is my first day of school. I felt _____. I wore ______. For breakfast I ate _______. After that I was taken to school by _______. My teacher's name is _________. My friend ______ is in my class. The first thing we did was __________. Then we ________. The part of the day I liked the best was when we ________. But I did not like __________. When it was time to go home I felt _______ because I wanted to ________. Tomorrow I will __________"

I mount the following poem on a backpack notepad page:
"The first day of school was so much fun!!
An exciting school year had just begun!!"
I also include a photo of our school.

In 2005, I changed to use fun stationery for the first day of school letter. I also changed to using the DJ Inkers Schoolhouse from Carson Dellosa (620012).

September Page - I have the children draw a self-portrait on a sheet that also includes the child's age, weight and height. On a crayon notepad, (I've used Carson-Dellossa or CTP Crayon Cutouts) I mount a photo of the child that I took on the first day of school.

Apple Page - At open house, parents write why their child is the "apple of their eye" on an apple cut out. We put them up on a tree. I save the apples and then the kids draw a picture of an apple tree. On the Math Class Books page, I also include a photo from our Ten Apples Up On Top Class Book. Using paper from Carson-Dellossa (DJ-618002), I write about things we did with apples at school.

October Page - This page includes a photo of the child in his/her Halloween costume with me in my costume.

The children also make a monster out of washable markers and spray it with water so it starts to "disappear." I include the following poem:
Every night, when I'm asleep,
Into my room the monsters creep.
I call to my mom, "Please come and stay.
And don't forget the monster spray!"
She comes right in and sprays right here
And all those monsters
(poem from Valerie Welk Workshop)

November Page - The kids dictate to me or a parent volunteer how they think you should cook a turkey. You get some crazy answers. I also have the kids make a turkey from their hand and fingerprints and include the following poem:
"All turkey birds are different,
From sea to shining sea.
And you'll never see another bird
Like this one to you from me.
Can you see what makes it different?
Do you need some helpful hints?
I made it from my very own
Hand and fingerprints!!!"

December Page - I have the kids draw a picture of what they think Santa looks like. On a Santa Notepad sheet (Carson-Dellossa) I mount a photo of the child in a Santa hat.

January Page - My latest January page is so easy to do. Have the kids paint the white snowman and snow on blue paper on the first day. The next day, after the paint has dried, they can have fun adding the color details. You can add the month label and a snowman poem if you choose.

February Page - For this page a include a photo of the child saying 'I Love You' in sign language. The child also writes his/her name in a heart shape and follows the shape of the name around with Valentine color markers. I have the kids write on the blackline from the CTP Making Memories Book (2399). They write about what they love.

This year I did my February page a little differently. I had the students draw a picture of what they love and on the heart blackline, they wrote some Star Words they knew.

I have listed some of my favorite Valentine's books below.

100th Day of School Page - We celebrate the 100th day of school by writing about what we would do with a $100. I photo copy a play $100 bill and run it off on green paper to put on the page. I also include a photo of the child wearing the crown they made with 100 things on it.

Tooth Fairy Page - February is also Dental Health Month so I also include this page about the Tooth Fairy. The kids watercolor a picture of what they think the tooth fairy looks like. On a tooth cut out, I write how the kids finish this phrase, "I think the tooth fairy...."

March Page - For March, I have the kids paint a picture of a leprechaun. The children also dictate a story about how they would catch a leprechaun.

April Page - I had the children write "Rain Rain Go away. Little (their name) wants to play." I include a photo of the child under an umbrella and the child draws raindrops coming down.

May Page - Until recently, I did this page for April, but I changed it to May this year when I added the rain page. The children make a garden with vegetable sticks and draw a self-portrait. The children write 'Gardens grow with seed and dirt' on the garden and 'but I grow with love' under the self-portrait.

Favorite Book Page - We make a class 'I Love to Read' quilt where each child makes a square with the picture and title of his/her favorite book. I take that square and mount it with a book notepad with the words: 'We read lots of books in kindergarten. This is one of my favorite books that we read.'

Printing Page - I have the children print the entire alphabet in Capital and lowercase letters and print numerals up to 36. I made my own blackline.

Birthday Page - Whenever we celebrate a child's birthday I take a photo of them wearing the birthday hat and vest with our pretend Birthday Cake. We make a book with those photos and I also put the photo on this page. Next year I am going to add the page from the take-home bag where he/she writes about what he/she did on his/her birthday.

This year I did the birthday page a little differently. I included the child's page from the Birthday Take-Home Bag. I used the same photo we take at school and reduced the text.

Below, I have listed some of my favorite birthday books that I send home in the Birthday Take-Home Bag.

In Kindergarten... Page - For this page I asked the children to finish the sentence "In kindergarten...." I typed up all of the children's responses and printed them on this cute paper from Carson-Dellosa.

I also had a simple list of high frequency words that the child could read. The child also did a simple addition problem.

Self-Portrait Page- I have the kids paint a self portrait. You can put a sticker that says something like "Super Kid!" on the page.

Growth Chart Page - I take the child's photo in front of a growth chart in September and May. Do not laminate the growth chart. The flash reflects too much.

Cutting Sample and Name Printing Page - This cutting sheet says, "I'm sailing along! Look at how well I can cut." You can make up your own. My new one for next year will say, "I can cut 'beary' well!" It will be a bear shape to cut out. The name printing sheet has the following poem written on it:
Here is how I make my name in September,
All of the letters are hard to remember.

Writing my name in January is so much fun,
Just look at all the improving I've done!

And here it is the end of May,
Look how easy they are today!

Artist of the Month Page - I save a sample of artwork that the children made during our Artist of the Month program. The text say, "We learned about a lot of different artists with 'Artist of the Month.' This is a picture I painted just like (artist's name)."

Computer Page - Our Media Specialist had the kids draw a picture when they were in the computer lab. The text says 'We went to the computer lab a lot this year. We learned how to draw, paint and type words. This is how I typed my name and a picture I made.' The notepad is from Carson-Dellosa.

Miss Spider Tea Party Bag - This page is very easy to make because I just use the page the child filled out at home when they took home the Miss Spider's Tea Party Bag. I also use the photo they took.

School Year Memories Glyph Page - We make a kite glyph to show what our favorite activities of the kindergarten year were. The color of the kite represents the child's favorite game. The design on the kite (hearts, stripes or polka dots) represents the child's favorite special activity (Winter Picnic, field trips, parties). The color of yarn represents the child's favorite song and the number of bows represents the child's favorite book. I have to redo the glyph every year to because the top games, songs and books change every year.

Photo Collage Pages - Every year I add to the number of photo collage pages I do. This past year I did 3. The first page is the sample shown. I use a camera die-cut and include the following poem.

Dear Friend,
Here are the picture that you can treasure,
Teaching you has been such a pleasure!
The year now ends and we must part
Always know you'll be in my heart!!

The other photo collage pages have had a sun cut out with the words "You are my sunshine!" and a film notepad with "You ought to be in pictures!"

Class Photo Page - For this page, I have someone take a class picture out on the playground. All of the kids sign the page. The words say,
"A Great Class to be Remembered
Mrs. Sloane's P.M. Kindergarten Class
School Name

Duckling/Graduation Page - I take a photo of the child with a chick/duckling that our class hatched. I also take a photo of the child wearing a cap and gown (just one from Lakeshore - we don't do graduation.) The text says, "From the egg came the chick/duckling- From the kindergartner came the first grader Happy Graduation!!" I include an egg die cut and a graduation cap from Carson-Delossa.

Thank You Page - For this page I include a photo of the child and me. I include a little thank you note to the parents and students for a great year. I also include the following poem from an unknown author:

I like the way you've learned to learn.
I like the way you wait your turn.
I like the way you've begun to share.
I like the way you've grown to care.
I like the way you make your plan.
I like the way you say, "I know I can."
I like the way you sing and play.
And that you know you are special today and everyday.
I like the way you color and have learned to print your name.
In many ways you're different and yet you're still the same.
Little children who have come so far, and still have far to go.
Can you see what you've done for ME?
Yes, I think you know

In 2005, I changed to use fun stationery for the first day of school letter. I also changed to using the DJ Inkers Schoolhouse from Carson Dellosa (620012).