Sunday, 10 April 2016

5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books!!

I have a confession to make.  I have a little BIG obsession with collaborative class books!

The benefits of class books are ENDLESS, but include:
1.  Purpose!  Kiddos are writing for an authentic purpose and then are reading with purpose as well!
2. Along with purpose, kiddos feel a huge sense of pride in their work!
3. Shared language experiences help grow kiddos as readers!
4. Students learn about the role of the author, the illustrator, and the reader!
5. Repetitive text is perfect for emergent readers!

I could go on and on about the benefits, but let's talk logistics...

How does one create a collaborative class book?

For starters, you need a topic!  I aim to make one book each week, so our book topics align with what we are learning and what holidays are going on. Find, or create, a template and cover that go along with your topic.  Here is what I created for one of our St. Patrick's Day writing projects.

5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books

5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books!

We read several fiction books during the week and talked about the ways we were lucky, so I didn't tie this class book to a specific piece of literature like I often do.  We gathered on our meeting carpet and I modeled the writing.  More often than not the students illustrate their pictures for class books.  However, we had been having fun taking silly pictures and they asked if those could go in our book.  Student requests that will lead to deeper engagement?  Of course I said "yes"!

And there is no denying how adorable they turned out!
5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books

Once you have all of the student writing, you'll need to decide how to bind them.  In the case of this book, I used page protectors and paper rings.  (I use several different methods to put our books together.  I will show all of them soon!) 

5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books!

I always put a piece of cardstock behind the cover and on the last page when I put the books together like this. 
5 Benefits of Collaborative Class Books!

Before the collaborative class books get put in our classroom library, they go home for one night with each member of our class.  To keep track of the books travels, I tuck a class list into the book somewhere and simply mark off who has taken the book home.

At the end of the school year, I take each student's pages out of each book and add them to their end of the year memory books.  Win-win!  Kiddos enjoy them all year long, and parents enjoy their child's writing for a lifetime!

Check out some of our favorite class books on Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking here.

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