By May, I'm spent. The kids are spent. The principal is spent. Everyone can feel the impending freedom that is known as summer. We have just spent months reviewing, practice testing, learning, growing and experimenting. It's about this time, when testing is finished, that I pull out some of my fun "just because" ideas. One of them that I LOVE are my class I-spy books.
I like to make class books throughout the year and keep them in my classroom library for future classes to check out. The I-spy books are always a huge hit.
The whole idea behind this is that the kids plan, create, and organize their own page for the class book. This means they sit down in a group (usually four kids) and write out what they need. I give them just a basic four square planning sheet like the one seen below.
I give them my collection of I-spy books as well as previous class books to look at for an example. We talk about what a typical I-spy page looks like (lots of objects tied into a theme, correct placement, background etc.). Then I let them work. They decide who is going to bring what and when. It's fabulous because I don't have to provide a lot. (As a caveat: I taught in a low-income school. Some years I had to provide more objects than others. I would just use whatever I had in my classroom.)
Then, the students bring all their materials to school and set up their page. I come over and take a picture. I have to write down what they have hidden in their pictures right then or I won't remember. I print off the pictures, type up what the reader is supposed to look for and bind it altogether in a book. Simple, easy and engaging for the end of the year.
Here are some examples from my last class.
Theme: Movie Snacks
Theme: Pirate Treasure
Do you make classroom books with your kids? I love to hear about it in the comments below!