Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kindergarten Graduation or a Day of Celebration?

There are only 3 1/2 more weeks of school for us and the parents are already asking, “When is kindergarten graduation?”  
We decided many years ago not to have an official graduation ceremony for several reasons: 
*It would be a hardship on some of our families to purchase or rent caps and gowns.  And the school can’t afford them either!

*Although it doesn’t happen very often, we do have children who will be retained in kindergarten for the following year.  What happens to those children during a graduation ceremony?  Do they sit aside?  Do they have to stay home? We never felt it was fair to those children to have a ceremony they couldn’t participate in. 

*Graduation/commencement from High School should be something the students look forward and aspire to as a great accomplishment and a stepping stone to a new phase in their lives whether it be on to college, a vocational program, or out into the work field.  Commencement means a beginning or start and our students aren’t starting a new phase - they are just going down the breezeway to the first grade wing! 

We still wanted to recognize the hard work and effort of all our students and decided to have a Day of Celebration with the parents and families.  

On the last day of school the parents and grandparents come into our rooms for about an hour with their students showing them samples of work and activities we have completed over the year.  And of course, each child reads the last book they made for the year, I Bloomed in Kindergarten.  

This KinderLit book, based on Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus, is a self-assessment book for the children to discover how much they have bloomed during the Kindergarten year!   There are 12 different pages to choose from, most based on Common Core standards.  Be sure to click on this cover photo to read more about it: 
Here are some of our families from last year’s Day of Celebration, enjoying the time together with donuts, drinks, and lots of reading!

Each child receives a Kindergarten certificate before their parents leave.  Sometimes we run out of time during that last week and have to use ready-made certificates but we really like to customize the certificates for the children to match their uniqueness. And you can get a set for free below! 

We have a FREE set of 4 blank certificates for you to receive by clicking here and 8 blanks based on I Bloomed in Kindergarten!  Each set has two for boys and two for girls.  All you need to do is sign and date the copies and then print a set off for your students.  Hand-print your students’ names and their accomplishment! 

Here are some suggestions for wording on the certificates.  We select a quality of each child that may not always be based on academics so that every child, even those who are being retained, can celebrate their accomplishments! 
perfect attendance
fantastic reader 
superb writer
awesome speller             
marvelous mathematician
wonderful number counter
sensational skip-counter
outstanding backwards counter
first-rate addition star
terrific subtraction star
cool scientist
extraordinary runner
excellent skipper
magnificent climber
astonishing singer
stupendous poet
spectacular painter
fabulous line leader
tremendous block builder
brilliant puzzle solver
incredible door holder
dazzling smile
out-of-this-world laugh
super friend

After our parents leave, we have a fun Water Day with slip-and-slides, bubbles, sprinklers, and spray bottles for squirting each other from the neck down!  A great way to end a great school year!

We are participating in a K-2 Blog Linky party so be sure to check out the other links below.  This month there is a raffle too!  Be sure to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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