My motto is "work smarter, not harder"! A teacher's life does not end at the dismissal bell. The desire to preserve memories of the school year involves additional time spent on the project. I'd like to share some tips that worked for me. A great time saver is to use a digital camera, upload the pictures online and pick out which ones you will use later at your convenience. Let the parents know about the memory book project at the beginning of the school year. Ask for a photo fee to help with your expenses.
Things you will need:
Plastic shoe box container or storage container
Fine point markers
Photo corner tabs
These are some ideas to include in each child's memory book. Take an individual photo of each child the first week of school and also have the children stand in front of their cubbies for a group shot. The best pictures are candid shots of the kids as they interact in centers. Field trips, special events, lunch time, circle time or out on the playground are great opportunities to include on the pages of the memory book. Another great idea is to take a group picture in front of the seasonal bulletin board display. This shows the progression of the school year according to the seasons. Save any activity the child made, that was displayed on the bulletin board, to be mounted on the page with the group picture.
Now, for some tips on organizing your memory book project. Label a file folder with each child's name and drop into the file the photo, art work or significant items that will be added to the memory book. Stand the files in a plastic shoe-box or 9 x 14 storage container for easy access. This is a quick way to remain organized and makes it easy to carry home on the weekends, at least once a month, to assemble the pages.
Accent the child's creativity by mounting their original works of art or writing. Use various colors of construction paper to coordinate with the entries. Mount the pictures, just as you would in a scrapbook, by using decorative scissors to trim the paper. A non-acid glue stick works great for adhering the photographs. Preserve art work, writing and holiday projects and mount on construction sheet pages. Some art work projects must be attached by using photo corner tabs because of the bulkiness. Always journal and date the entries as you complete each page.
Remember to take pictures of the graduation ceremony, allowing each child to sign their names on a page. Make copies to place in each memory book.
At the end of the school year, have the children decorate and title their album cover. Use colored card stock and laminate if possible. With a three holed paper punch, assemble the completed pages between the covers and secure with yarn. Create a memory of the school year both the parents and child will always treasure.