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Students Create Classbooks

This spring, all three classrooms created their own books through Student Treasures Publishing.

Mary Hatch, teacher of our middle level grades classroom, the Green Classroom, brought the idea to Cedarcrest School from a previous classroom experience with the special publishing house.

Student Treasures Publishing provides free publishing kits that includes special paper and guides for creating the storyboards, covers, content, and a sample book. Once a classroom completes the book development, it is shipped back to the printing company along with quantity order forms and then the books are produced and sent back to the school in about 20 days! A hard copy is also sent along to the classroom teacher.

The preparation of the content of each classbook is extensive and for our classrooms included many activities that incorporated choice making by the students.

The Green Classroom theme was based on the picture book Beautiful Hands by Bret Baumgarten. The children and staff communicated about the many ways hands are utilized and then brought those images to life through handprints. Mary Shannon explained, “We thought it would be a fun and engaging activity to do with the students and especially nice since it was arranged so that all of the parents of the students in all of the classrooms would receive a copy of their student’s book. That made it even more special.”

“Throughout the whole process, we incorporated the children’s choice making skills and assisted them to participate as much as possible.” noted Elaina Waibel, teacher of the Peach Classroom. “Since this classroom is made up of preschool and early grade students,” Waibel explains, “the content needed to be developmentally appropriate and relatable.” The Peach Classroom theme was based on the rhyming poem See You Later Alligator. Each child chose the animals they illustrated and staff helped them bring the images to life using their fingers, hands, arms, and feet etc. The students also selected the paint colors too. Those in our community who receive Cedarcrest’s creative holiday cards will recognize the technique the Peach classroom students have used that artistically transforms a handprint to a tree branch.

As the classroom with the high school grades and older students, the Yellow Classroom’s theme highlighted friendship. “The staff really rose to the challenge of developing ways to engage each learner as much as they could to gain their choices on the theme and how they could use art to carry out their pages within the theme.” shared teacher Amanda Coe. Their book was dedicated to all friends, past, present, and future.

“As the artistic process evolved from concept, to practice, to the final versions, we made sure that each child could create the artwork with a favorite activity such as using a dauber sponge or finger paints.” said Mary Hatch. Each student demonstrated in their own style the many creative ways to use fingers, hands, and artistic tools to convey an image.

Check out excerpts of the books below:



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