Ending Your Year in Style with a Class Celebration!

Do you have a celebration or graduation for your students? I know many schools are going away from a big celebration in kindergarten, but I always like to do something special in my classroom. I think it makes it more special when it is just the kids from your class and their families anyways.
My room is always jam packed full of family members for our Kindergarten Celebration every year so I created a resource to help you plan a celebration of your own.

 Here is what's included:
The classroom celebration usually lasts about an hour, and to be honest most of that is our photo slideshow.  Here is a rough idea of what my celebration includes:
Like I said before we hold the celebration in our classroom.  I move all the furniture to one end of the room and have our custodian bring in LOTS of chairs.  My kiddos sit in front of the room on chairs in a nice long line with their proud little smiles as their families arrive.  Then I give a quick welcome, and our principal usually tries to pop in at this time too.Next, I have each student read their response to one of our end of the year writing prompts. I usually chose their favorite memory because it it short and sweet.

Then we read our Kindergarten poem. Each student gets a letter and some students team up and share a letter to read. After that we sing "The Kindergarten Class" to the tune of The Addams Family, which is quick and easy to remember, and watching the kids try to snap always cracks me up :)

Finally I give out personalized student awards and present them to each child. {Great photo op for parents} We finish by watching a slideshow with pictures from our year together, and songs to make the parents cry. The kiddos sing "First Grade, First Grade" to the tune of New York, New York complete with the most ridiculous kick line you've ever seen that usually ends with the kids rolling on the floor laughing.It's my kind of celebration, nothing too serious or formal, with a lot of laughs just like our classroom every day.

After our celebration in the classroom we always head outside to the nearby park for a little picnic :) Usually we have between 3-5 kindergarten classes in my building and we all have our celebrations in our own classrooms but then team up for the picnic.  We've done our picnic a few different ways. We have done a potluck where each family brings something to share and we assign each class something different (main dish/side dish/ snacks/ drinks/ desserts). We've also had each family bring a picnic lunch for themselves and then we provided a dessert and/or popsicles for a special treat.  This is a lot easier to manage because we don't have to worry about plates, silverware, cups, tables etc. If you are short on time, or just too exhausted to worry about managing all the extras, this is the way to go! Here is the note we send to families:
After our picnic lunch we have a mini field day where each teacher plans a game for students and the classes get to rotate to each activity for a little organized fun. Some examples of our rotations include a pinata, water balloon toss, red light green light, relay races, parachute games, minute to win it games, three legged race, tug of war, freeze tag, etc. If you have parents willing to lead games too you can add even more activities and divide into smaller groups, so don't be afraid to ask!
Now if you are super close to the end of the year and don't feel like you have time to plan a big celebration, you can always do a quick awards ceremony and picnic with your families.  I just uploaded these Student Awards to my TPT store and they include color/black & white versions as well as EDITABLE versions for you to create your own!

Personalized awards are always a sweet keepsake for kids and their families. No matter what your end of the year plans, I hope you find time to enjoy your kiddos before sending them off to first!

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