The preschool years are among the most precious in children's lives, when their true characters first begin to emerge, their earliest friendships are formed and their important creative and learning "firsts" occur. Teachers who immortalise these events in a memory book create a permanent record that will be as precious to their pupils when they grow up as it will be to their parents. Copies of key pictures should be kept for your own memories, too.
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Types of Memory Book
Some memory books are simple scrapbooks in which you and the children can draw, write and stick photographs and pictures as desired.
A practical and versatile alternative is to reserve a ring-binder for each child containing a mix of coloured card inserts (which can be used like a scrapbook to write, draw or stick things on) and clear plastic folders in which objects that do not stick down easily can be inserted and kept safe.
Physical Mementos and Photos
Physical mementos of a child's year can be collected throughout each term and saved in his individual memory book with photographs. During an autumn walk, for example, each child could collect something special, such as a leaf or feather. These can then go in their memory books, along with a photograph of the outing.
When the class is working on a particular art project, it is a good time to take photos of them busy creating and concentrating. The photo capturing the moment can then be inserted in the memory book beside the child's piece of art.
During term time, keep a book in which you note the funniest, most fascinating and brightest comments each child comes out with and the time and date it was said. You can then write those in their memory books. Also keep a note of any particular songs or poems that the class has learnt that year and add those to the books.
You should also include a personal note recounting your favourite memories of the individual children.
The Child's Memories
Ask each child to help create his own page in the memory book. This should include his hand print in paint, his name -- if he is able to write or copy it -- and the answer to other questions you ask him, such as who are his best friends; what is his favourite preschool activity; what is his favourite packed-lunch food; or, what is his favourite toy or game.
Children develop very quickly in a preschool year, but certain themes and characteristics shine through. Keep a camera handy and look out for those moments that sum up a child's character and interests, such as holding hands with a particular friend, playing messily in the sand pit or concentrating on painting a picture. A child's preschool life is often something of a mystery to parents and recording such moments can give them a rare and special insight.
The Whole Class
Dedicate one page to the entire class. This should include a class photo and the names of every pupil. If there are children who have left during term time, make a note of their names and when they left, too.
Write down the name of all staff members who have helped in the class throughout the year and include the details and dates of major class projects and outings.
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