As the school year comes to an end we all have mixed feelings. Excited for the summer ahead, sad to say good-bye to friends, stressed to get all the paper work finished on time, pride in the accomplishments of our students and even a little nervous about what the next school year will bring.
No matter what you're feeling I'm sure you spend time sharing memories from the school year. Many of you will have memory books and yearbooks for students to sign and write notes to classmates. I have a different way to relive special and personal memories-- Memory Bracelets. I've used this bracelet idea at the beginning of the year as a getting-to-know-you activity, but it works wonderfully as a memory sharing activity, too.
The first step is to brainstorm as a class, the big events from the year- field trips, class projects, school assemblies and plays, class visitors, special events, holidays, etc. Make sure you give kids time to talk and share their persona memories about these events.
Then give each student a set of Wonderful Memories slips. The slip has a place for a student's name and then space to write a special memory. To save time I suggest you fill in each student’s name before you copy the pages for your class. Each student will need one complete set of Wonderful Memories slips. Give students several small blocks of time to fill in a personal memory for each classmate. If you have them complete the memories page at one time, the memories tend to be less personal and more redundant. Once all the memories are collected have the students cut them apart and store them in an envelope.
Now it's time to make the bracelets. Each student should have a pipe cleaner to collect the memory beads, a baggie of pony beads and the envelope with the memories. Sharing the memories will include finding a classmate, reading the memory and placing a bead on their pipe cleaner and pasting the memory slip onto a blank space of their memory book.
The memory sharing can be done all at once or in small blocks of time. Kids will know who they need to share a memory with because they have a memory slip for each classmate. When all memories have been shared the kids can twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to make a bracelet, or keep it straight as a keepsake. They'll also have a memory slip from all of their classmates to take home with treasured memories from the year.