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May 22, 2018

Kindergarten Graduation and End-of-the-Year Ideas!

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K

    Kindergarten graduation is near and dear to my heart. Each year, I fall in love with my kinder babies, and saying goodbye is one of the hardest things I have to do. To celebrate these AMAZING kiddos, I plan a very special graduation. Here are some of the things I do that make our kindergarten graduation a day that won’t soon be forgotten.

    Little Learner Packets

    These no-prep packets are a perfect way to continue learning throughout the summer. Little Learner Packets have several different units that focus learning on sight words, phonics, word families, numbers, the alphabet, and other basic concepts kindergartners (and first graders) need to know. We use them throughout the year in our classroom, and my kids love these playful packets. To prevent summer slide, I send home differentiated work from the Little Learner Packets, which target the specific needs of my students. The activities in these packets are designed to reinforce concepts, and also introduce new learning. Little Learner Packets are a terrific resource for parents to have during the summer, as they prepare their children for first grade. I am planning on sharing this resource with my students’ families!  

    End-of-the-Year Gift

    This year I filled buckets with goodies for my students to enjoy during the summer. The buckets were filled with following items I purchased from our local dollar store:

    • Sidewalk chalk
    • Bubbles
    • Neon sunglasses
    • Goldfish crackers
    • Shovels

    I also added The Bravest Fish, a little book that is the perfect summer send-off to tuck into the buckets and keep those kiddos reading. Lastly, to prevent summer slide, I copied little packets of activities for my soon-to-be first graders to work on throughout the summer.

    Decorate With Graduate Directed Drawing

    Children's art always makes the best decorations! In the weeks prior to the big day, we work on several projects that we use to make our room and school more festive. Not only do these projects brighten up the day, they will become keepsakes parents will treasure for years.

    We love our directed drawing time, and boy, have my kids gotten good! We start off drawing our graduates, step by step, using a light hand and a pencil. When the kids finish sketching their pictures, they trace over the lines using a permanent marker. Next, they color in the picture using crayons. We use contrasting colors to make them POP!

    I border them to add an extra special touch, and then they go up on our bulletin board. They are wonderful!

    Graduation Faces

    I love these funny little faces — almost as much as the faces of their creators! They are so simple to prep and make, but really come out looking super cute! All you need is construction paper, scissors, a little bit of glue, and voilà — you have graduates' faces!

    Class of 2030!

    The parents really love these little faces. What's fun for me, is to see families' reactions when they realize their kindergartener will graduate from high school in 2030!

    My youngest daughter is graduating from high school this year. It seems like it was just yesterday that we sent her off to kindergarten. Time flies, and I’m pretty sure this graduation year, I’m going to need a LOT of tissues. I always encourage families to cherish these years because I know firsthand, they go by way too fast!

    Graduation Caps

    Store bought kindergarten hats can be pretty pricey. We always make our own. This year I had a parent volunteer to make them for our class, and what a treat that was! I am so grateful for our special helpers. Our caps are made using black poster board and yarn. To match our school colors, we chose blue and maroon yarn to make our tassels. When the tassels are finished, we use brass fasteners to attach them to the caps.

    To make your own set of mortarboards, use these simple instructions from Scholastic Teachables. These caps are inexpensive, easy to make, and on the heads of your little graduates — completely adorable.

    Cookie Reception

    After the graduation ceremony, families are invited back to the classroom to help celebrate our graduates. We have a cookie reception and the kids LOVE it! You can make your own cookies, or buy them from your local grocery store. Teacher tip: I recommend asking your PTA to grant you the money to purchase your cookie platters.

    We make sweet cards for our families to thank them for all the help along the way. I also set out a book for each of my students to take home and read. It’s just little gift from me to them, and I LOVE giving books! Time to Graduate is one of my favorites, and I always use my bonus points to order a class set from Book Clubs.

    Photo Booth

    Who doesn’t like photo booths! Parents want to take pictures of their new graduates, and a photo booth provides a nice opportunity to get that perfect shot! We added a few homemade props for our kids to use, and made signs so that people would stop to capture the moment!

    My heart just melts when I see my littles in their graduation caps…

    The Final Days

    I hope you and your kindergartners enjoy the last days of kindergarten. Here’s to a great graduation and lasting memories that will forever be etched in the hearts of your students, their families, and YOU!

    Have an amazing summer! You've earned it!

    Hugs!

    Shari

    Kindergarten graduation is near and dear to my heart. Each year, I fall in love with my kinder babies, and saying goodbye is one of the hardest things I have to do. To celebrate these AMAZING kiddos, I plan a very special graduation. Here are some of the things I do that make our kindergarten graduation a day that won’t soon be forgotten.

    Little Learner Packets

    These no-prep packets are a perfect way to continue learning throughout the summer. Little Learner Packets have several different units that focus learning on sight words, phonics, word families, numbers, the alphabet, and other basic concepts kindergartners (and first graders) need to know. We use them throughout the year in our classroom, and my kids love these playful packets. To prevent summer slide, I send home differentiated work from the Little Learner Packets, which target the specific needs of my students. The activities in these packets are designed to reinforce concepts, and also introduce new learning. Little Learner Packets are a terrific resource for parents to have during the summer, as they prepare their children for first grade. I am planning on sharing this resource with my students’ families!  

    End-of-the-Year Gift

    This year I filled buckets with goodies for my students to enjoy during the summer. The buckets were filled with following items I purchased from our local dollar store:

    • Sidewalk chalk
    • Bubbles
    • Neon sunglasses
    • Goldfish crackers
    • Shovels

    I also added The Bravest Fish, a little book that is the perfect summer send-off to tuck into the buckets and keep those kiddos reading. Lastly, to prevent summer slide, I copied little packets of activities for my soon-to-be first graders to work on throughout the summer.

    Decorate With Graduate Directed Drawing

    Children's art always makes the best decorations! In the weeks prior to the big day, we work on several projects that we use to make our room and school more festive. Not only do these projects brighten up the day, they will become keepsakes parents will treasure for years.

    We love our directed drawing time, and boy, have my kids gotten good! We start off drawing our graduates, step by step, using a light hand and a pencil. When the kids finish sketching their pictures, they trace over the lines using a permanent marker. Next, they color in the picture using crayons. We use contrasting colors to make them POP!

    I border them to add an extra special touch, and then they go up on our bulletin board. They are wonderful!

    Graduation Faces

    I love these funny little faces — almost as much as the faces of their creators! They are so simple to prep and make, but really come out looking super cute! All you need is construction paper, scissors, a little bit of glue, and voilà — you have graduates' faces!

    Class of 2030!

    The parents really love these little faces. What's fun for me, is to see families' reactions when they realize their kindergartener will graduate from high school in 2030!

    My youngest daughter is graduating from high school this year. It seems like it was just yesterday that we sent her off to kindergarten. Time flies, and I’m pretty sure this graduation year, I’m going to need a LOT of tissues. I always encourage families to cherish these years because I know firsthand, they go by way too fast!

    Graduation Caps

    Store bought kindergarten hats can be pretty pricey. We always make our own. This year I had a parent volunteer to make them for our class, and what a treat that was! I am so grateful for our special helpers. Our caps are made using black poster board and yarn. To match our school colors, we chose blue and maroon yarn to make our tassels. When the tassels are finished, we use brass fasteners to attach them to the caps.

    To make your own set of mortarboards, use these simple instructions from Scholastic Teachables. These caps are inexpensive, easy to make, and on the heads of your little graduates — completely adorable.

    Cookie Reception

    After the graduation ceremony, families are invited back to the classroom to help celebrate our graduates. We have a cookie reception and the kids LOVE it! You can make your own cookies, or buy them from your local grocery store. Teacher tip: I recommend asking your PTA to grant you the money to purchase your cookie platters.

    We make sweet cards for our families to thank them for all the help along the way. I also set out a book for each of my students to take home and read. It’s just little gift from me to them, and I LOVE giving books! Time to Graduate is one of my favorites, and I always use my bonus points to order a class set from Book Clubs.

    Photo Booth

    Who doesn’t like photo booths! Parents want to take pictures of their new graduates, and a photo booth provides a nice opportunity to get that perfect shot! We added a few homemade props for our kids to use, and made signs so that people would stop to capture the moment!

    My heart just melts when I see my littles in their graduation caps…

    The Final Days

    I hope you and your kindergartners enjoy the last days of kindergarten. Here’s to a great graduation and lasting memories that will forever be etched in the hearts of your students, their families, and YOU!

    Have an amazing summer! You've earned it!

    Hugs!

    Shari

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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