End of the School Year, Social Emotional Learning

Sailing into Summer: A Classroom Memory Book for Students

Each year when spring arrives in the classroom, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with the thought of my current students moving on to the next grade. Of course, I’m excited for them, but I’m also ALWAYS wondering, “What will these kiddos remember from this class? What was their favorite moment from this year? How have they grown as small humans?”

To me, it’s important that my students have a memory book to carry with them out of our classroom door on the last day of school. I secretly hope that these memory books make it home and into a tote or shoebox somewhere in the house that will be opened many years down the road.

Also (added bonus): we teachers all know how tricky it can be to plan at the end of the year. These memory books are perfect for purposefully filling in time when students are finishing assessments, projects, and assignments.

During the last month of school, I GIFT these memory books to students. Truly, I introduce them to the students as presents and make it their job to thoughtfully complete them over the course of the last month of school. My students take this to heart!

The theme for these memory books is “Sailing into Summer.” Each page incorporates ocean-themed clip art and details. There are FIVE covers to choose from…each with their own pun!

I print these covers on brightly colored blue and green card stockbefore I bind the students’ books together. This gives them an extra fancy factor and ups the quality of each memory book.

After I have printed the covers on the card stock, I print each student in my class a set of the 23 memory pages to put inside thememory book. These pages range in activity from memories of the school year, academic thoughts, reflections on growth, autographs, goals for the future, and jots about classmates. (I usually have the students save the autograph pages for the very last days of school after I have explicitly taught them how to sign each other’s memory books with a sweet and simple message.)

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Once I have the memory pages printed, I place them between a colored card stock cover and a colored card stock back cover and then off to the binding machine I go! I bind each student their own book, write their names on the covers to denote whose is whose, and then I hand them out several weeks before the end of the year.

When I hand out the memory books, we take a collective walk through the pages to view what’s inside and we talk about the importance of completing them thoughtfully and with purpose. Then, we begin working on curating our memories and thoughts over the next several weeks. I get so much joy from reading student’s pages and I know they get joy from reviewing the school year through these memory books.

Wondering what memory pages are included? Here’s a list:
– My Year in Review
– My Self Portrait
– My Favorite Memory
– All the Ways I Grew this Year
– My Summer Bucket List
– A Bit About my Classmates
– All About my Teacher
– This Summer I’ll be Missing…
– The Best Part of my Classroom
– Best Field Trip Ever!
– Besties Forever
– Book of the Year
– How I Changed as a Reader
– Tips and Tricks for Writers
– Growing as a Mathematician
– Fascinating Science
– School Event of the Year
– Nothing like Recess
– Lunch is a Subject
– Looking to the Future
– What I Want to Remember When I Grow Up
– Collect Those Autographs (x2)

Looking for a memory or reflection book to use throughout the school year? Check out the resources below! 

First Grade Monthly Reflection Book

Second Grade Monthly Reflection Book

Third Grade Monthly Reflection Book

Fourth Grade Monthly Reflection Book

Fifth Grade Monthly Reflection Book

Do you use reflection books or memory books in your classroom?

Add to the discussion in the comments! 🙂 

Isabelle MacDonald is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for her to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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