Why Class Books?
Class books are one of the best ways to engage students in meaningful writing and reading. Class books are made as a whole class and then left in the library for students to read over and over again. My students are so proud of their writing and love to look back at their progress and see how much they have grown. They are also proud of working together to be “published” authors! These class books also remind them about all the topics we have learned over the course of the year. If you are interested, the class books that I use from throughout the year are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store as a bundle or individually.
How to Make Class Books?
The best part about making class books is that anything can become one! You need a way for every child to contribute and you need a cover. That is it. There are many preferences for doing this, but I like to have everyone fill out the same paper and then combine them into a class books by adding a cover to it.
I especially love to make class books at the beginning of the year when their writing abilities are less developed and it is important for them to see themselves as successful authors.
The first books that I make with the student are all about student names. This helps them to get to know each other, as well as work on their own names (which is one of the first phonics studies of the year). I also create books that have to do with the start of the year. This is the order that I create my class books at the beginning of the year.
- First Day Feelings
- We’re Rocking in Our School Shoes
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear
- Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar
- Class Promises
- Bucket Filler
- Names Class Book
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- Kindergarten Starts with a K
- Down By The Bay
After that, I usually have the books to connect with curriculum or seasonal themes.
What to Do with Class Books?
It can be as simple as adding a cover and leaving it in your classroom library for children to enjoy. I like to use these report covers, (you can check them out with this amazon affiliate link) because they are sturdy and easy to put the pages in and take them out. Most of the class books go in our classroom library, but a few go home in Book Buddy Bags to connect with various books and activities. I like to leave out the rest of the books in an area of the library where students can read them as often as they like. I also like to share the books with parents when possible. At the end of the year, I take the books apart and add them to the student portfolios, which I give each student at the end of the year.
Sharing with Parents
Whenever parents come in, for visiting or for conferences, I like to have out the class books for them to browse. I want them to be able to look at their child’s growth over the year and to see what we accomplish as a classroom community. As an added bonus, it gives parents something to look at while they are waiting for an activity or conference to begin!
Class books are incredibly easy to manage and use in any classroom and students love them. They are a wonderful way to engage them in meaningful writing and reading, as well as reflecting on all their work. Students love looking back at the work they have done and remembering all the things we have learned. Have you used class books before? Let me know in the comments!
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