making class books with my class! I usually do take-offs from shared reading/read aloud books.....
Hmmm!!! But after a long and FUN fourth of July week, I'm having trouble coming up with some titles!
I do, however, send the books home with kids each night....and this procedure works GREAT! I sent bits of the following idea into Mailbox magazine. They took the idea but I never saw that it was published in a magazine yet... The following includes a LOT more details!
Laminate the front and back covers (construction paper or card stock) of class-made books and staple the books together with a heavy duty stapler. Use clear packaging tape as "binding". It covers the staples nicely and adds extra reinforcement. The kids pages are usually done on regular copy paper. They hold up very nicely when bound this way. I typically have from 20 to 25 students each year.
Reduce a class list to about 70% on the copy machine and tape it on the back cover along with a note on lime green paper (or any eye-catching color!) that says something like this:
"Please read and enjoy this class made book at home tonight with your child. Please return the book tomorrow (or as soon as possible) so that another family can enjoy the book."
Randomly pick a child to take the book home and write the date next to their name on the class list (and also on a master list--I keep one on a clipboard by my rocking chair). I tell the kids that I understand that they might not have time to read the book that night. But I encourage them to return it as soon as possible.
I started adding the bright colored paper note (please read and enjoy this book) a few years ago. Before that, books went missing! I'd ask for the books back and kids would tell me their parents threw the book away!!!
The note really helps!
I usually have two or three kids each year that lose the privilege of taking class books home. They get ruined, come back in about three weeks after lots of hounding or are never returned. I'll have a parent volunteer or fifth grade buddy read class made books at school with these kids.
All right....I'm getting my school brain back...here are some class book ideas:
*How to Be a Friend
*How to Play Safe on the Playground
(you might assign pairs of kids to each piece of playground equipment)
*How My Parents Chose My Name
(after reading "Chrysanthemum", I have parents help their child make this class book page at home. They might add a picture of child and namesake along with an explanation of how and why they chose the name--these are PRICELESS!)
*Dear Zoo can be changed to Dear Santa
(I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. It was too ____. I sent it back! I wrote to Santa to send me a toy. It was too ____. I sent it back!)
*All about Owls, Turkeys or Penguins or any other animal you've studied
I guess I'm still not coming up with lots of ideas. It would be nice to have a Discussion Thread throughout the school year for people to add class book ideas as they've done them! As I teach, the ideas occur to me so it's hard to think of them right now!
Just one more thing...the publishing is fun to vary. Sometimes--like when we're doing a Penguin Fact book--I'll have kids tell me a fact they've learned about penguins and I'll type it into a word document. I make sure that each child comes up with a different fact so that we don't have 10 pages that say "Penguins lay eggs". I'll enlarge the font, print the facts and cut them apart. Each child brings their fact to the computer lab and types it into a Kidpix template and then illustrates the fact. Print and wa-lah!
I hope all my ramblings help!