Monday, June 12, 2017

Fabulous in First Memory Books

It's that time of year....
The end of the school year!

9 months ago, we all hoped it would fly by... ...and here we are again... another school year under our belt! I hope yours was FABULOUS!

We have so much to celebrate! Not that the school year over...well, of course that too ...but all that we have accomplished.

There is something about teaching primary students; you see such tremendous growth from the start of the school year to the final end. You may have students who struggle with letter sounds and by the end of the school year they writing paragraphs!

There is so much to celebrate!

Each year, I put together a Memory Book for my first grade students. Usually I create the book cover for each of them. But this year, I decided that I would create a template for my firsties to use and give them step by step directions on how to assemble the pieces.  

It looks a bit like this. Only you will have to imagine a 7 year old's smile on that cover. I included my own school photo to protect the identity of my firsties. You get the idea...besides it was a great year...I'm feeling fabulous too! Teehee.

If you would like to download this free template, please visit my TpT store at:

What's Inside?

I have found some really great resources at Teachers Pay Teachers and I have compiled them all in a three prong folder. Each day during the last month of school we add a page to our books.  

To help my first graders celebrate their learning this school year, I found this great resource from Love, Teach and Learn. They are called Growth Mindset Posters and there are endless possibilities for their use in the classroom.  

First, I had my students work in small cooperative groups and brainstorm all that they have learned as readers and writers. 

I was so pleased with how they collaborated; they took turns recording their ideas, they also helped each other sound out and write the words.

Mostly, I was astonished at how much they could vocalize all that they learned this school year. Take a look at this!

When they were finished meeting with their group, I gave them their own copy of the Growth Mindset T-chart for them to record their own learning as readers and writers. I was pleased as punch as I saw them roaming the room copying words and ideas from the anchor charts that hung in our classroom all year to remind us what good readers and writers do.  

Several of my students had asked for a second t-chart to record their ideas! fabulous firsties made me proud!  

I am pleased with how this page in their Memory Books turned out! When they look back at their first grade year as a young reader and writer they will remember how they learned how to:

Check it! Do a double Check!
Scoop up words!
Take a sneak peak!
Use time order words! 
...their lists went on and on!

The Growth Mindset Posters by Love Teach and Learn were an awesome addition to our Memory Books. My firsties can refer to them all summer and remember all that we learned. Be sure to add them as part of your End of the Year celebrations with your's perfect for all ages.  

Which reminds me, I must share another great End of the Year activity with you! The Summer Reading Goals chain! You're going to love this! Click HERE to read more about how my students set summer reading goals!

But for now, this FABULOUS first grade teacher needs some shut eye so I am ready for our last week of the school year!


  1. I love how you use your last few weeks of school to celebrate and reflect what they have learned throughout the year and how much they have grown. That is so neat. I a can't wait for the next read!!

    1. Thanks Carmen for you wonderful comments. But most importantly, thank you for creating these effective Growth Mindset Posters! They worked like a charm. It was such a positive lesson for my firsties. A highlight of our week! What a celebration. I had goosebumps listening to them chat about all the reading and writing strategies they learned!

  2. What a fun activity! Hearing them talk and discuss their growth is priceless!

    1. It was such a great activity! A perfect way to celebrate and show off all that we have learned this school year!

  3. What a beautiful and memorable book for your students. I love the design! I like how you paid it forward to Carmen by using her wonderful "I" growth mindset charts. Great photos too! I know others appreciate seeing the product and the kids working as well. Another great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Christine! My firsties really enjoyed working on their Memory Books and adding a new page to their Table of Contents each day! They even managed the prongs themselves!

      Carmen's "I can" Growth Mindset t-charts were a perfect addition to the Memory Book. I will use them again and again throughout the year!

      Thank you for such positive feedback!

  4. Amazing and wonderful! I like the time and effort out into such a memorable keepsake for your students and parents! I love the collaborative efforts done as we all know- two (or more) heads are better than one and it's so important that they can share experiences to trigger those forgotten moments which will make their book that much better! I also like the t-chart idea for organizing their thinking- and they came up with so many examples! Job well done making their school year count!

    1. Thanks, Megan! It was AWESOME listening to them list all the strategies they learned on the "I can" t-charts. Hopefully they will continue to use those strategies while they read this summer!