- Start with one class-made book idea that will engage your students. When you are comfortable with the process, consider a second one. Use different colors of 1-inch 3-ring binders with clear sleeves to make it easier for students and the teacher to find the books quickly.
- Arrange the book format to be vertical rather than horizontal; this helps the pages stay in place and avoids ripping.
- Make print on 8½ x 11 pages large enough to use for shared reading.
- Store pages in heavyweight sheet protectors to keep books usable all year long.
- Consider writing the “About Your Teacher” book in English and Spanish or whatever the predominant first and second languages are in your community.
- Take advantage of the QR code for I Love the Earth to learn the new melody. Share class book songs with families: Learn to make your own QR codes! Esta es mi familia.
- Include a parent comment page with any book that goes home for family sharing.
- At the end of the year, take each child’s pages and bind or staple them together in a memory book or add them to the back of each child’s “I Can Read” (Poetry and Song) Notebook. This becomes an end-of-year gift to families and provides great summer reading for students!
- Laminate the cover of each class book before slipping it into the outer sleeve of the binder so you can use year after year.
- Include a table of contents for books that feature a page for each child: Students will use it and learn to read names; they’ll also use the numbers to find their own page.
- Include direction for families that encourage rereading with comprehension, fluency, and joy! (Early in the year, show families how to use the Neurological Impress Method (NIM) of guided reading practice and share Phonemic Awareness and Phonics strategies.) Leah has her pink umbrella. I see Russ Looking at me.
- Teach American Sign Language (ASL) with I Pledge Allegiance and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star class books. Take advantage of the editable pages to feature photos of your students. Give families copies of the ASL guide.
- A dedication page may be appropriate for some class-authored books as a way to honor a principal, student-teacher, or volunteer. Students will learn to read “Dedicated to…”
- Finish the book with a “t-h-e e-n-d, the end” page that children can fancy up. Use the QR code to learn the rhythm for our spelling chant “the end.”
- Earn graduate credit: Organize your own notebook of original class-made book templates with all the printables and covers you need as a future reference to save time! You can use class-made books organization as a practicum project. If you have studied with Nellie Edge Online Seminars (NEOS) or live workshops, consider completing meaningful graduate work this summer. Information is available with Class-Made Books Bundle on TpT.
- Make color copies of the book if you are gifting it from your class to someone special. Donate a copy of the book to the school library or first grade teacher
Class-Made Books Build Literacy and Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Students Love to Read and Sing About the Lives of Their Classmates
This Class-Made Book Bundle includes:
- How to organize your books
- Simple 8½ x 11 printables and tips on how to make each book
- Authentic samples of class-made books
- Table of Contents, Parent comment page, The end pages
- Certificates and badges
- QR Codes, and/or American Sign Language (ASL) Guides
- Curriculum Connections
- Parent letters and links to ASL instructional videos