Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer SMASH Books at School

Every year I try to find a way to encourage my students to be active in their learning during the summer - reading, writing, math know, all those things that seem to leak out of their brains before the end of summer. Usually this includes some flash cards or other activities. I send post cards to each of my students to encourage letter writing and reading. But I am getting tired of the same ol' thing.

Then we started chatting about SMASH Books on the Cricut Circle MBs. I really want to put one together myself, but as I watched the K & Company video, hopped around the blogs talking about them... I realized these might be just the vehicle I need to make my students have a fun summer but stay engaged in learning.

For the past week we have been preparing our books for summer. Each students started with 30 9"x6" pieces of white construction paper. Using some of the ideas from Strathmore's Visual Journal Workshops, we used our water color paints to paint designs, patterns, or splashes of color on 10 pages.

The next day we used all of my old scrapbook papers, scraps... to decorate 10 more pages.

Third step was to mix these pages with the remaining 10 blank pages, to make the whole book. We used the school's comb binding machine to complete the process.

Next the class spent time digging through magazines to find pictures that told something about themselves, creating a collage on the cover of their books.

Today, I spent some time explaining what a Smash Book is, showing pictures, the K & Company video...I then gave a description of a Smash Book, and a second with the "summer assignment." These we added to the front of our books.

We added envelope pockets to hold little papers for journaling or sketching and a photo of ourselves. Some students actually took it upon themselves to add other writings already. I love the little gal who wrote a description of herself at the school wide Spelling Bee.
and the other that wrote about one of her friends:
I have a few more presummer activities to do in their books to get them started,

but I am really looking forward to what they do with them over the summer.

In the meantime, I need to work on my own Summer Smash Book, since I told my students I would keep one too.


Mary said...

What a fun Summer project for the kids. Looks like they had a lot of fun making them.

L.B. said...

AMAZING IDEA!!! Love this and think I will make one for my daughter just to have a place to piut all we do this summer.

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