Thursday, July 13, 2023

Making Class Books

My most favorite time of the day (after Morning Meeting!) is when I sing our writing workshop song as the kids gather on the carpet with their writing folders. They are so excited and eager to participate in the lesson and get started. While teaching writing is one of my favorite subjects to teach, I also think it's the hardest subject area to teach. (Feel free to grab the song. It was given to me with no name to give credit to. I just added border/pics.)

If your class is like mine, you have some struggling FRUSTRATED writers.  Only minutes before, they looked as if they were ready to write a novel. But their confidence falters. Even drawing a picture and labeling it seems quite challenging to them.

That's exactly why I like to make CLASS BOOKS! Immediate success for ALL writers! 

Because each page has the same starter sentence or prompt, all students can read the phrase independently within minutes which is a great ego boost for the kids.  (Example: The Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Book for September has Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Name) is in our room. That's it! A very easy one for all to read. Every child can read the book on the first try! 

Why Make Class Books?

  • They allow students to see the writing-reading connection and empower them to think of themselves as authors and illustrators.
  • They are repetitive in nature so kids can often read the entire book after the writer has shared his/her page.
  • The books help strengthen your classroom community. You learn so much about each other when you read the books.
  • It's a "quick win" for the entire class. From start to finish, the whole book can be made/shared in about 30 minutes. The students see their writing published in a book and there is something very  satisfying and powerful about that!

My Method for Making Class Books

  • We talk about the theme. This can be in the days leading up to our writing or minutes before. Depends on the topic.
  • I pick a name out of my cup to see who gets to color in the cover. (We do so many books that each child will get to color 1-2 covers. NOTE: You can use the COLOR cover that comes with the packet but I have the kids color them. Up to you.

The Apple of Our Eyes Class Books

Classroom Books

  • Kids pick the paper they want to use. You can see how it's differentiated. Choice is important.
  • They complete their page.

Apple of My Eye Class Book

  • We gather back on the carpet. We take turns reading and sharing responses. I collect each one immediately after a child has shared. Within a few minutes, I have all in my hands.
  • We then vote on WHO we want to dedicate our book to. Sometimes I give them 3 people in our school to pick from. Other times, I take nominations.  The principal always seems to be the first book we dedicate to.
  • I fill out the DEDICATION page.
  • I print our a recent class picture and glue it on the last page. The person coloring the cover also gets to add design elements to this page.

  • After the cover is done, I staple the book together and put it in a bin for the kids to read and enjoy! It's exciting when they see me put THEIR book in the same space as their favorite authors and illustrators.  "It's because you ARE authors and illustrators!"
First Grade Classroom Library by Bloomabilities

  • At the end of the year, I put them all into a bag and kids reach in to pick one and take it home. A great memory book for them!  They love to look back and see how much their writing and drawing has improved. 


  • Next year, I'm going to make sure I add a page to each book too! Why should they have all the fun?
  • The books make a cute interactive bulletin board. Kids can grab one to read at any time!
  • I have a sign-out sheet for library books in my class. It's simple but effective. 
  • The kids are so proud of their book! It's too good not to share so from time to time, I make sure the kids pick a friend or teacher they want to share it with.
  • Kids often record each other reading the books and they share with parents on Seesaw.
  • The most exciting aspect for me is that by the end of September, we have completed 3-4 books and that means that EVERYONE in my class can read all the words in those books. That's thrilling for my struggling learners.

If you are interested in the September packet, I lowered it to only $2 for the next couple of weeks. That's only 40 cents per book! If you end of making any of the books, please let me know!

If you end of making any of the books, please let me know!

Happy writing!

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