Monday, July 2, 2012

Year End Classroom book

I love to end the year with a special memento that the class will cherish, and so will I!  A few years ago I came across the book "The Important Book" by Margaret Wise Brown.

The Important Book

A fellow collegue introduced it to me.  It is a simple yet powerful book.  My favorite page is the one about the sky.  "The important thing about the sky is that is always there.  It is blue.... but the most important thing about the sky is that it is always there."

The pattern in the book is readily identified by the class.  So we get to talking about what exactly is the most important thing about each other.  I model my own writing for the class.

"The important thing about Mrs. B is that she LOVES teaching 2nd grade!  She has 2 children, Audrey and Alex and an amazing husband.  Mrs. B's favorite subjects are reading, math, writing, and science.  Some of her hobbies include walking, reading, sewing, spending time at the beach, being with her family, spending time with friends, and she just loves chocolate! Oh, she loves to collect hearts and giraffes.  But the most important thing about Mrs. B is that she LOVES teaching 2nd grade!"

I give each of the children a graphic organizer.  A simple chart with four columns:  My family,
My favorite subjects, My hobbies, Other important things.  On the back, they have to write a complete sentence about "The most important thing about me is...."

Here is a link to one you can use from "Read, Write, and Think." Check it out.  I have them add anything else they want, such as collections, places their families visits often...

The students need not work in complete sentences on the graph.  Bullet style is fine.  I just need to be able to read what they write.  We conference.  I may add a detail or two that I have come to know about them... and then I type them up.

The most important thing about ***** is that he loves going to restaurants with his mom and his sister. His favorite subjects in school are sports, music, computer, handwriting, extra recess, art, and fabulous Friday.  *****’s family includes 1 brother, 1 sister, 1 dad, 1 mom, 1 dog, 7 fish and 1 dog in Texas.  Outside of school he enjoys hockey, skate boarding, long boarding, street hockey, riding ATV’s, dirt bikes, going camping, having fun, being outside, and playing with his sister.  ***** is also an expert with the class pet frogs. But the most important thing about ***** is that he loves going to restaurants with his mom and his sister. 

Here the student draws/illustrates his favorite memory from the year.

Below, there are lines for them to write (those that can are welcome to do so in cursive- very big deal as they are ever so eager having completed learning all the letters...) about their favorite memory.

My favorite 2nd Grade memory is___________________.

 We are lucky enough to have a color copier.  So I color copy the final pages for each student and assemble them as books.  The cover reads:

"A Very Important Class"
"Insert a class picture"
This book belongs to:_________________

I add a photo collage with special photos from the year, and a summary of our final homework "A - Z Memories of 2nd Grade,"  and an "Autograph" page at the end of each book. 

Each student gets their own copy on the second to last day.  They love the entire process and really apply themselves.

Should you be interested in a full copy, or have any questions,  just email me at Kinderaffe@gmail.comI will get you a copy directly.

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