Monday, August 1, 2016

Memory Books in Kindergarten

We start working on our memory book the very first day of school! This memory book is a 'scrapbook' from all of our favorite memories throughout the school year.  I include work samples, writing, picture writing, letters to their mom and dad, and of course memory book pages.  
When I have my 'meet and greet' the Friday before school, I ask parents to bring a 1 inch binder for their child and a pack of page protectors. You can also put 'holiday stickers' on your wish list if you want students to decorate any of their memory pages (this is optional). 
On the first day, I make sure to engage the students in some 'exploration centers' with manipulatives while I pull them quickly to take their first day of school pictures.  
We always write about the pictures that I print out (this was not written on the first day of school).  I probably print pictures once a month and try to get our 'picture writing' done once a month as well.  When we do picture writing, it is on a Friday at the 'teacher table' during literacy rotations.  This way I can be there to help them sound out their words.  After their page is done, it is entered right into the memory book binder that is left on my back counter in our classroom for the year.  
Perhaps my favorite page that we do is the page seen above.  I complete this page during the first week of school.  I write the child's name, they write their name, and they draw a picture of themselves on it.  
Why is this my favorite? They will do this exact page again in May or June and just wait until you see the difference! It is UNREAL!! 
The memory book is set up to be very user friendly.  I split the pack up by month.  So all you would need to do is download the memory book, print out the pages you need for August/September and then you are done for that month.  No need to have to remember to do this page again at the end of the year, because it will be in the May/June section as well!
In September I included their 'special apple tree' craft as well as some picture writing from the day we had our first cooking activity-our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees.
Again, no need to remember these suggestions or crafts, they are all in the pack as suggestions for you!! 
I don't have any pictures from October (must have been a crazy month), but in November we made these cute handprint turkeys and when they were dry, added them right into our memory book!
We love directed drawings from First Grade Blue Skies so in January we made a snowman! I actually hung these up on our bulletin board and then when I took them down, added them into the memory book!
Too cute not to save!
There are also writing topics and sentence starters to choose from each month. This page was one we did right after winter break.  Now they will have this in their memory book to look back on and to remember what they did!
For Valentine's we made these cute fingerprint LOVE prints.  The directions are included in the pack as well with the letter tracers.  I had to hang these up in the room before we inserted them into our memory books because they came out awesome!
Again, we did another directed drawing to add.  Keep in mind, each month we are also adding our picture writing and some writing samples!
Towards the end of the year we started getting in to some of the 'memory' pages.  I always love to read what they have to say about me! Haha!
We continued writing about different things that took place in our class.  This little one is writing about the day we planted our plants!
We also wrote all about our field trip to the children's museum!
Now, remember when I said this was my favorite part? 
Here is a beginning of the year sample...
and now look at the end of the year sample! It just blows my mind! I am always so excited for parents to see this! I don't think you realize until you look at something like this, just how much progress our little ones have made!
Some of our 'memory' pages included what the students' favorite things are.
Also, their favorite things about school!
Another awesome page is this one.  Love having students recall some of the new things that they learned throughout the year! I really just like to see what actually stood out in their mind--its funny to see what they remember!
Ahhh! Just have to look at this progress again! My favorite memory book pages by far :)
We included an autograph page.
Then we started wrapping up our memory books! We included what we were looking for the following school year.
A graduation directed drawing from First Grade Blue Skies.
At the end of the year I always invite parents in for a little end of the year 'awards show'.  On this day we hang up pictures that we drew of our moms and dads in our 'Mom and Dad Wall of Fame' and I also let students show their parents their memory books for the first time! The children cannot wait for this day! They ask all year long when they can take these books home!
On that day, I let parents insert their drawings into their child's books and I let them take their books home!
Every year I receive numerous emails after this event about how special these memory books are and how they are so thankful to receive them! Most parents have no idea we were even making them (printing out pictures, etc) and they are just in tears when looking through them.  
It in the BEST gift to give at the end of the year!
You can find my memory book by clicking here or on the image below :)



  1. I bought this last year, but the year got away from me! I am DETERMINED to get it done this year. I love it SO much! What a treasure! Love your idea of starting on it now! Thank you for creating such a wonderful keepsake.

  2. Thank you SO much Taryn! To make it easier for you to actually get it done--print out the pages NOW that you want to do. Then you already have these pages printed in your room reminding you throughout the month to do them. They can be done during center time independently, with a parent volunteer, at your table, or even just during your writing block! No need to find extra time anywhere during the day!! I also suggest when that first week is done, get the binder spines printed out and taped on or inserted into all of the binders. Then leave the binders on the counter or shelf somewhere that you have access to. This way, when the kids finish a page, you can tell them to go grab their binder (easy to find with their name on it) and you can insert the page right away!

  3. Great tips, Caitlin! I really think it will make it easier if I plan ahead! :) Thanks!

  4. Great post! Why is that little Ethan SO ADORABLE!! So small, reminds me of one of my little peanuts from last year!!

  5. I'm sure that's something the parents cherish. It's a great idea!

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