Making Personal Yearbooks for my boy's school classes is one of my most favorite projects that I do each year. This project is so simple to do and special for the students and their parents.
A few years ago I found the most amazing idea on Becky Higgins' blog. It was a Personal Yearbook scrapbooking project that Becky did with her children's classes. She created printable pages for the students to fill out each month with stories, drawings and a photo that she took and printed. She collected the pages and put them in folders for each student so they would have their own Personal Yearbook at the end of the school year.
This project documents each student's school year in a PERSONAL YEARBOOK which is filled with monthly pages capturing each student’s handwriting, photos, thoughts and drawings collected throughout the school year.
With a little bit of planning and some helpful organization tips, this project can become a special part of your child's school year too!
In this blog post you will find:
- Photos of a completed Personal Yearbook Project
- FREE Printable file download for the Personal Yearbook Project pages
- Why people LOVE the Personal Yearbook Project
- Helpful Tips for working on the Personal Yearbook Project
The Personal Yearbook
Here is a look at Quinn's 1st grade Personal Yearbook. I used Photoshop to add text to each page to individualize them with the date, month theme and writing question.
I always include a page for the teacher.
I leave a blank page for the teacher to add a letter to the students at the end of the year. I also include a page for each student to sign their name.
The BASICS of the Personal Yearbook Project - things to do every month:
- Print two Personal Yearbook Project pages for students to fill out.
- Have each student decorate the top of each page with a strip of scrapbook paper or other decorations.
- Take a photo of each student, print and add to their monthly pages.
- Insert each student's monthly pages into a folder with plastic sheet protectors.
Get the FREE PRINTABLE Personal Yearbook Project Pages
The free printable download from Becky is no longer available on her website, so I created my own version of the printable Personal Yearbook Project pages to share here on my blog.
I made some changes to Becky's original printable Personal Yearbook pages so that I could use them for preschool by adding the bigger solid and dotted lines for younger students just learning to write their letters. Both line versions are included in this free download.
Included in the FREE printable Personal Yearbook Project file:
- a cover page
- four left page layout options
- four right page layout options
- my friends signature pages (bonus)
- end of the year questionnaire page (bonus)
- printable planning page
- printable letter explaining the Personal Yearbook Project to parents helping with this project
LOVE for the Personal Yearbook Project
Teachers LOVE this project!
Teachers are amazing people who genuinely love our children. When they see the completed project, teachers often end up in tears at how special it is and how happy they are that their students will have this keepsake.
I find that at the beginning of each new school year when I approach my older son's new teacher to ask about doing the Personal Yearbook project they already know about the project because his previous teacher has told them about it and how much they loved it.
I LOVE this project!
Now that my kids go to elementary school, my time spent in the classroom is limited. This project allows me a little more access to the class to take photos of the kids each month. Not only do I get a peek at my son's in their classrooms, but it also allows me to get to know all of the students in their class and their teachers too. I feel so connected. If you choose to get involved, you too will love this project!
Parents LOVE this project!
Every single year that I do this project, I receive sincere and heartfelt thank yous from the parents of my son's classmates. Life is busy and parents don't usually have the time to document their kid's school year. This project does that for them. And they are left with a special piece of their child's school year that is just priceless. As a parent that is on the receiving end of this project too, I can say for sure that I totally LOVE this project!
Personal Yearbook Project TIPS
This is the fifth year that I'm working on the Personal Yearbooks - and my second year to be doing two classes at the same time. Along the way I've learned a few things that have streamlined this process...
- Talk to the teacher about this project before the first day of school if possible. I bring my son's previous year's Personal Yearbook to show the teacher what the project is all about. Or send them a link to this blog post!
- Plan out the monthly themes with the teacher. These can be planned around events like field trips or parties, something the students are learning about that month (Earth Day, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, etc.) or something going on in their regular school days (lunch, recess, etc.).
- Teachers are already busy with so much to do each day, so I try to keep the work they need to do for this project to a minimum. After planning the monthly theme and finding out what question the teacher wants for the month, I add the text to the pages in Photoshop and email the files to the teacher to print so she doesn't have to do anything extra. Don't worry, I've included blank printable pages that you can write in the monthly theme and questions if you don't have Photoshop.
- Ask the teacher how much help they want with the monthly pages. I found that with the younger grades, the teachers invited me to come in and help the students complete their pages. With the older grades the teachers liked to work on the pages without me there. They gave me the completed pages and I assembled them at home. (Assembly is taping the photos onto the pages and slipping them into each student's Personal Yearbook folder.)
- I buy 12x12 scrapbook paper to decorate the top of the pages each month. I use this paper trimmer to make it super easy to cut 8.5" x 2" paper strips. The students glue this onto the top of their pages.
- I put each student's name on the front of their folder and keep them in a portable file box in alphabetical order so it makes assembly quick and easy.
- Assemble and insert pages into folders each month so you can easily stay on top of this project.
- Keep it simple. I usually use my big DSLR camera to take photos, but I'm rethinking it this year. Smart phone cameras can produce great quality photos these days, so I might be using my iPhone this year!
- Some schools have rules about taking photos of students so be sure to get permission for this project.
Thank You Becky Higgins!
ALL of the credit for this project goes to the insanely creative and amazing Becky Higgins. I sincerely thank her for sharing this project on her blog years ago. Inspired by Becky, I now have four years of Personal Yearbooks for Quinn and one Personal Yearbook for Tate and I am currently working on their 2nd grade and kindergarten Personal Yearbooks with their classes right now...
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