The end of the year brings so much excitement, especially in kindergarten. It’s always amazing to see the growth of our kindergarteners from the first day of school to the last!
The final few weeks of the school year seem to simultaneously drag and fly by. With everything you have going on, don’t forget to take time to make a Kindergarten Memory Book with your students! As a mom and kindergarten teacher, I promise that it’s something their families will treasure for years to come.
Here are five tried-and-true tips for making Kindergarten Memory Books with as little stress and as much fun as possible!
Plan enough time – make it a three week writing unit
Don’t forget to get started on your memory books early. If it seems like you’re getting started too early, you’re probably starting them at the right time! You’ll have to balance making memory books with all the other things you have going on at the end of the year, especially testing.
My tip: incorporate it into your normal school day. Turn it into a two or three-week writing unit! Work on one page per day. This works really well and it’s more familiar to your students and the way you typically do writing anyway.
Remember that it’s for your student – don’t strive for perfection
There are enough things to stress over at the end of the school year, so give yourself a break and don’t stress over memory books. Your students will misspell sight words that you *know* they know.
If you have time to conference with each student or a few students at a time, that’s great! But you might have to just “let it go”, depending on how much time you have.
Every teacher has different opinions on this. My advice is, feel free to give reminders if you feel like you have to say something, such as for sight words. But ultimately, this memory book is for your students and it needs to be something they will be proud of!
If you have a few kiddos who need a sentence modeled for them, I think that’s okay! Knowing your students are having a positive experience while making their memory book is really rewarding.
Decide if you’ll be using real photos or having students draw pictures
Many memory books include places for student photos or illustrations. For example, you may want to include a class photo. Be sure to plan for this beforehand so you have time to locate and print the photos ahead of time.
Use a digital version for remote learners
Remote learners deserve the chance to make a memory book, even though their kindergarten experience was a little different! My memory book has a Google Slides version if that works best for you, or print and send home the memory books to complete one page at a time!
A plus side of the digital version is that you can insert photos and type in notes from the teacher!
It can get a little tricky when you’re not there in person to keep the pages organized, so you may want to write page numbers at the bottom before making copies. This will help the students and their caregivers at home!
Give students pages to work on – NOT the entire book
It’s extremely tempting to run a class set of memory books all nicely copied and stapled. But I’m here to tell you from experience: make your copies but don’t staple them into books. Here’s my procedure for this:
- Make copies of each page, not collated. Hear me out.
- Each day, talk about the page we’re working on, spend time reflecting, brainstorming, and modeling.
- Grab a pencil and call students up to get their page one at a time.
- Write each student’s initials with pencil on the back of the page before giving it to the student.
- After students have worked on their page, have them turn them in to you. Place them in a file folder and save them.
This strategy works for so many reasons. Students won’t accidentally draw or color on the wrong page. Pages won’t accidentally rip out of the books. You get the idea!
No matter how many ups and downs you had this school year, the point is, you made it! Celebrate with your students and make a memory book to help remember this year!