End of the Year ABC Book

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A few weeks ago I was browsing blogs and found an awesome idea on ClassroomTested Resources!  The post was written by Beth from Adventures of a Schoolmarm and describes a collaborative ABC Memory book that she does with her students.  Since I have exactly 26 kids this year, I thought I would give it a try, and I’m super glad I did!

I introduced the project to the kids by telling them that we would be brainstorming ideas of things that we’ve done this year or things that deal with our class or school.  I gave the kids a graphic organizer and ten minutes to brainstorm on their own.  You can get the organizer for free here.

After they brainstormed on their own, we shared ideas.  They came up with SO many ideas!  We filled our whiteboard with their brainstorming.  Then we narrowed it down to one idea per letter that best summed up our year, but didn’t repeat ideas.  

After narrowing the ideas, it was time to assign letters.  A few things were student specific, so they got those automatically.  For the rest of the kids, I drew numbers and they got to pick a topic.  Then, it was time to write.  

Each student wrote a paragraph about their topic.  Beth’s product (which is available here) has a page for each letter that gives the kids about half a page of lines for writing.  After they wrote, I collected the pages and copied an entire book for each child.
They started illustrating on Friday and they are adorable so far!  This is definitely a project I want to repeat in the future!

If you want to keep reading, The following is a list of our ABC topics:
A – Amazing Race (our states and capitals “competition”)
B – Book Talks (a monthly requirement)
C – Camp SOLE (read about it here)
D – Miss Davis
E – Eating at the middle school (on our orientation visit)
F – Flags (the fifth graders have a competition to design a school flag)
G – Going to Marengo Cave (read about it here)
I – ISTEP (yes, they wanted to write about the state test)
J – JA BizTown (read about it here)
K – Kindergarten Buddies
L – Lock Down Drills (they think barricading the door is fun)
M – Making Rockets (we make rockets out of 2-liter bottles and launch them in the Spring)
N – Nicknames (we have a “Duck” and a “Llama” in our room)
O – Otter Trot (our school’s walk-a-thon)
P – Prosthetics (we build prosthetic legs in Science)
Q – Quizzes (Q was kind of a hard one)
R – Recycling (my class is in charge of the school’s recycling program)
S – Stealing Kids (The three fifth grade teachers sometimes borrow kids from the other 5th grade classes. It’s harmless, but fun for the kids.)
T – Tornado Drill (We had a real tornado warning this year…while we were on a field trip)
U – The Unicorn Song (long story!  But here’s a link)
V – Video Rewards (We watched funny animal videos and the Evolution of Music as rewards)
W – We the People (read about it at the end of this post)
X – eXoskeletons (we had observations with insects in the fall, and X was hard!)
Y – Yummy Treats (I may spoil my kids…especially during state testing)
Z – Zern Zingers (our principal’s daily jokes)
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