End of Year Celebrations!

Monday, 4 May 2020
Here is a picture with my little brother before his graduation ceremony several years ago.
Happy Monday!  I can’t believe it’s already May and the school year is winding down for me.  I know several states have already closed for the year, but some of us (like in Kentucky) are still doing Distance Learning.  While this year isn’t ending ideally, I am still trying to find ways to help my kindergarteners celebrate the end of the year on a positive note.

Typically, we have a formal graduation ceremony for our kindergarteners.  It is during the school day, the students wear a cap and gown, they each say a nursery rhyme, sing a song as a class, and their parents watch all teary-eyed and gets lots of beautiful pictures of that special moment.  It really is a sweet, little program and a way to celebrate the end of their first year of school!  But, this year, things will be very different.

We are all in the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic and there will not be any ceremonies.  Due to social distancing, we won’t be having any get-togethers.  It all feels so wrong to not be able to celebrate with our kids and let them have a special moment with their friends.  So, I decided to share a few things with you that I plan to do for my class to help end our amazing year together!

Every year, I always make a slideshow of pictures.  This slideshow will be pictures I have from the beginning of the year to the end.  I use iMovie to make this and include lots of fun, upbeat songs (and a few tear jerkers).  I like to post the video as a private video on YouTube, so only those I invite to watch it (parents) can see it.  This way I don’t have to worry about a CD getting broken or not working.  The video is always there, but it maintains privacy of my students.

Here is a list of some of my favorite songs to use in the slideshow.  I have linked them all to YouTube so that you can quickly preview the songs.  I do not always use them all and sometimes new songs get added to my list as I discover them.

We're Going to Be Friends by White Stripes
Count on Me by Bruno Mars
Better Together by Jack Johnson
True Friends by Hannah Montana
Butterfly Fly Away by Miley Cyrus
Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift
Jungle Gym by Jack Johnson
A Friend Like You by Andy Grammar
A Million Dream by Pink
Brave by Sara Bareilles
You've Got A Friend in Me by Randy Newman
Another little gift I have gotten for my students this year is a class t-shirt.  We typically order these shirts every year from a local shirt maker.  However, they are closed this year and we found another awesome option with classroomfaces.com.  I mailed a template to each of my students for them to draw their face and write their name.   I mail all the templates back to the company and they put together a super cute shirt design for me!  If you want to check them out, they have an awesome deal this month for $8 per shirt using the promo code “COVID-19.”  This will be a great memory for my students and the shirts are always super cute!  Here is an example of a past shirt.  We usually wear these on our class field trips in the spring, but we won't be having any of those this year. 😢

One thing that I will be doing for my students this year is making them a yard sign.  I wanted a way for them to feel special and get some recognition for completing their kindergarten year.  I will laminate the sign and attach it to a stick (like a paint stick) to make them a cost effective gift!  You can purchase this from my TPT store by clicking here.  There is an editable version and two versions that are ready to print.

I still have several other things in the works for my class, but I hope this has given you some new ideas.  Please feel free to share some of the things you are planning to do with your class on the Facebook page!

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