If you're anything like me, then you probably wait 'til the ninth hour to not only organize and prep your end-of-year student keepsakes, but you also wait 'til that point to plan them, too. #guiltyascharged
No?? Am I the only one?!?!
Well I got to thinking the other day (scary) and wanted to compile some ideas for you just in case you're in the same boat as me :) Thought it would be handy to have some of my favorite ideas all in one place for easy reference.
I love keepsakes. Now that my boys are in school, I seem to cherish them even more! Of course, the keepsakes I usually send home with my students are more for the parents than for the kids, but my hope is that one day when my students are all grown up they'll look back through their keepsakes and smile thinking about what an awesome time they had in my class. That's my hope anyway ;) So let's get started!
First up, the coveted end of year slideshow DVD. Aaaaah. The one project that gives me so much unwarranted stress and anxiety. Will the sound work?? Will the slideshow burn to the DVD? WHY WON'T THE SOUND WORK?!?!?! LOL!!!! Can I get an amen?!
This is how I send home our end of year DVDs. Cute, right?! I know there are darling labels I could create and adhere to the actual DVD itself, but since these are usually not ready 'til the night before the last day, I'm honestly doing good just to tie the printed label with a cute ribbon. Ha! Speaking of the label, you can grab this exact printable gift tag at Bits of Everything (free).
I compiled a huge list of DVD slideshow songs....perfect for the tear factor ;) They make me cry whenever I hear them! HA!!! Just click on the pic to take you to that list. And be sure to read through the comments because there are some GREAT suggestions for more songs there, too!
Of course, memory books are a MUST! Typically at the end of the year, I have to turn in EVERYTHING to library several weeks before the last day. I don't want my guided reading time to be wasted, so when the kids come up for "reading", we work on pages in their memory books and then they get to "free read" (good fit books of their choosing) or work on fluency activities.
Because I wanted to update my files to be more current, I went ahead and created an entirely new format for our EOY memory books. This one includes a ton and even has a little Instagram theme...hashtags and all! My 2nd grader couldn't start his soon enough!!!!
If you're interested in adding this little memory book to your stash of keepsakes, you can check it out HERE. Click the pic for a closer look!
One of my most FAVORITE end of year keepsakes is our student portfolios we send home. This is definitely one of those projects that can't wait 'til the end of the year to start however. But let me tell y'all...as crazy as this sounds, I look at my boys' portfolios all the dang time!!!! I seriously LOVE these!!!
These little portfolios go home with my kids on the last day of school and they're chock full of their work from the year. Not worksheets or anything like that, but writing samples, craftivities, etc. These seriously make the BEST keepsakes!!! They're also great for self reflection for the kids. They love looking through their portfolios and when they see their early-in-the-year work, they always say things like, "WHO DID THIS?!?!", or "THAT'S NOT MINE!!!!", and "WOW! MY HANDWRITING IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!" Love that!
You can read more about what goes into those portfolios HERE.
Another thing I like to add to the portfolios is the most PRECIOUS keepsake idea I got from Katie Mense at Little Warriors. Such a GREAT idea!!!
Parents and students BOTH absolutely LOVE these!!!! I laminated ours for safe keeping and then popped it into the front of the portfolio. You could also secure it in a protective plastic sleeve!
Now I want to know what you send home as a keepsake for the end of the year!!! Anything?? Nothing at all?? I love adding to my big ol' vault of ideas!!!! DO share!!!!