In the beginning of the year I start by having students create their own sketchbooks. I take this opportunity to get to know my students by having them develop personal symbols. The covers of their sketchbooks include five personal symbols, interesting patterned backgrounds, and more ink than visible paper. Once complete, students construct their sketchbooks by adhering their covers to mat board and attaching them with flexible binder rings. Throughout the school the flexible binding allows us to add handouts, thumbnail sketches, explorations and notes to the sketchbooks. Having students craft their own books creates a sense of ownership, pride, and accomplishment, much more exciting than any store bought version!