Jun 28, 2007

memory books

Phew ... tomorrow is finally the last day of school! I'm in need of a recharge - a few delicious mornings of sleeping in, a few days of reading some good books, and a few trips to the hot springs.

But it doesn't stop yet! I have an entire week (plus this entire weekend) of doing teacher-y things. In fact, I've been doing teacher-y things late into the night this past week, also. Here's a little peek at some of my behind-the-scenes projects:

These are memory books that I've put together for the children who will be moving on to elementary school. Inside each book you will find:

-a picture of the whole class on the front cover
-several pictures of each child
-a handwritten letter from his/her teachers
-a collection of their "work," from their first drawings, first words, etc. to more advanced artwork and math work.

I used a thick construction paper, gluing examples of the children's work to both sides, making sure to leave enough space on the left hand side for the binding. Take the books to any office supply store and they should be able to bind them for you. I think that having the transparent covers adds a more professional, "important" look to the books, and it makes them more resistant to wear.

Not a Montessori teacher? No matter. It actually occurred to me as I was putting these together that once I have my own children, I'm going to collect and bind their artwork and other creations in memory books. Wouldn't it be nice to make one for each year? What a treasure. Because, hey, we can't frame everything, and the fridge has it's limits! You can cut out parts of certain artwork, especially if it's finger painting or foot painting. Yes, you heard me correctly. We paint with feet in our classroom. In the next post, I'll show you how it's done Montessori-style. Larger, easel paintings can be folded up, pasted on one side to the construction paper, and opened by the child when she is flipping through her book.
Let me know if you use this idea in your classroom or home!



Snickerdoodle said...

I'm not a Montessori teacher but I've been making memory books for my children! My oldest child is 15 years old now and I have 12 books made for him. It's great to sit down with the new book and compare it to the previous years. It's wonderful to see the progress he's made. Now that he's older, the books take on a different look (less art work, more academics). I think what you've done is wonderful, your students will surely treasure those memory books!

kneek said...

I love, love, love this idea. My daughter came home with a shopping bag full of art and work from first grade last week. I bought a big accordion file to store it all, but since much of it isn't dated it won't be a good way to look back over the year. Thanks for the idea!

sarah said...

Oh! I do this to! Except I do it throughout the year using digital photos of the kids work and pictures. We put in the first time they make it across the monkey bars, document changes in their drawings/paintings/block buildings/etc, strings in little envelopes that show their height when they were a baby, at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year. We keep them out in the classroom for kids to look at throughout the year.

But I really really love how you put the big paintings in there , its a great idea! I always used photos because I couldn't figure out how to do it. But I really love the idea of having something fold out so big!

Tamar said...

Dearest Meg, your site is also delightful and interesting! I have been reading for a while now.all my best Tamar

Wendy said...

I've been saving all art in boxes and was recently looking through some of them. Making books from years past would be a huge project, but moving forward would be doable.

And I agree with Sarah about loving the folded up pages. Such a simple idea. I know my daughter would love it.

By the way, I just found your site and I've added it to my Google Reader.

Peekershaz said...

I make scrapbooks with a record of the year of schooling in it. I guess they are similar to these memory books. We call them lapbooks and the girls love going back and looking at them - and revising their work. Now I know how to add the big pictures - I never thought to do it this way.
I love all the ideas thank you

Sarah said...

I am a Montessori directress and mother. I just cleaned out my daughter's bedroom and am overwhelmed with all the schoolwork. I couldn't figure out what to do with it all, and it's all special to her so I can't throw it out. This is a perfect idea!! Thank you so much! :)