Help students share their academic progress and special memories with this End of Year Memory Book. This memory book is a perfect companion for student-led conferences. It is a great way to help students reflect on their school year. In addition, it makes a perfect keepsake that parents love.
The focus of making memory books is to guide students through reflecting on their academic and social-emotional growth this school year. Whole group brainstorming sessions and one-on-one discussions can help your students make this product a meaningful way to end the year and begin looking toward summer and the next school year.
What is included in this End of Year Memory Book?
These memory books are perfect for the 8 x 8 books from the Target Dollar Spot. They can also be printed, cut, and stapled together to make a booklet.
The design is modeled after the popular bullet journal format, and it gives students space to doodle, draw, and write about their school year. As a result, no two memory books will end up looking alike.
This includes instructions for preparation and instructional tips for helping students get the most from their memory book. This is especially important if you are planning to have students present these to their parents as a part of a year-end student-led conference.
(You can read more tips for student-led conferences in this blog post.)
How I’ve Grown This Year & Academic Accomplishments
It is important we help students reflect on their progress as a learner. With growth mindset we focus on how students might not be able to do something “yet”, but we often forget to take the time to look back and see their progress.
This is where the conversation about how students have grown is so important and helps to tie the ends together from earlier in the year.
Through whole group or small group brainstorming, students can begin to see their progress and record the things they are most proud of in reading and math this year.
These pages are available for reading, writing, science, social studies, and math.
There are also pages that contain reflection prompts to help learners who might struggle to get started once they leave the group lesson. These sentence starters are great for getting students thinking and writing.
Whether thinking about their favorite science experiment or what areas of math were easiest for them, the prompts really get students thinking back across the year. There are even spots to write about what they still wonder about (which is great for your own reflections for the next school year and lesson planning).
Goal Setting Pages
I love to have students create goals for themselves for summer learning. They also make great topics for discussion in your student-led conferences. Students review their goals and talk with their parents about how they can support their goals.
The memory book templates include a generic goal setting page. I’ve also included separate pages for the core subjects – reading, writing, and math.
About Me Pages
These pages capture the student as they were this year. From favorite books to a summer bucket list, these pages are designed to help support conversations in student-led conferences and to create a memory book that is a time capsule of their school year.
There is also a page that gives students a chance to think forward. It is titled “I am excited for next year because…”. There is plenty of space for students to doodle and record things they are excited about in the next grade level.
A Special Note from the Teacher (or Family)
One of my favorite pieces of these memory books is the teacher note. I always wrote these to my students secretly and glued them into the memory book at the last minute so students received these notes during their parent-led conference.
I love writing a personal letter to my students about the special memories I have, the areas I’ve seen them grow, and the things I am just so proud of. I can always tell when my students reach this point in their student-led conference because they beam with pride after reading the note.
I also included a similar template for families. As a parent, I would love the opportunity to surprise my child with a special note that reflects the pride I feel about their hard work and accomplishments.
You can easily send this home in an envelope and have parents return it in the same envelope without students knowing what the note contains. (Just be sure to have parents write the student’s name on the envelope so things don’t get too confusing!)
Autographs and Notes from Classmates
Students LOVE to give their autograph and write special notes to friends. These special memories are great to look back on. I know I love looking back at my old yearbooks every 4-5 years and reading memories from special friends of the past. This gives your students the same opportunity.
How to Get Started
A great book to introduce this memory book is Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg. This story follows Ms. Hartwell and is a companion book to First Day Jitters, which I love using to start the school year.
I love to get started with this book and talk with the students about how much I will miss them but how proud I am of their progress this year. It is a great lead-in to reflecting on the school year.
Another great choice I recently found was The Last Day of School by Louise Borden.
How to Buy this Memory Book
I hope this article helped you better see how these End of Year Memory Books can help support your student-led conferences. If you’d like more ideas, be sure to follow me on: