Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Survived Graduation (and Surgery!)

Friday was a huge day. Not just big, but HUGE. My wonderful students graduated from Kindergarten, and I went under the knife. I'll fill you in on some of the fun (and craziness) of my graduation day.

First off, our graduation ceremony went off without a hitch. The students perform several times during ceremony and the big hit of the event is a fun rendition of the song New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. The children sing this fabulous song for their parents about moving on to First Grade, First Grade. We play the song produced by Instrumental Memories. It is a slower instrumental version and the notes are soft enough for the student's voices to shine. You can download an mp3 of this version from Amazon for only 89 cents.

 I do not know who wrote the new lyrics to this delightful song, but it is all over the internet. My students each received a copy of the lyrics to place in their poetry binder and I created this copy to share with you. The adorable diploma graphic is from Kristen at KPM Doodles. Download the FREE printable from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Our ceremony always concludes with a video presentation featuring photos from our year together in Kindergarten. PC users can use Windows Movie Maker or even Microsoft Powerpoint.I have a Mac, so I create the video in iMovie. It has a super-cute scrapbook template built into the program.

Graduation videos typically incorporate music. If you're a regular blog follower, you'll know I'm a music addict, so I carefully select songs to incorporate in the video. I avoid the Rod Stewart, Carole King, and Celine Dion variety of songs.  Instead, I use Jack Johnson's cover of We're Going to Be Friends followed by Upside Down (also by Johnson). Both can be found on the soundtrack from the film Curious George, which the kids enjoy, plus I just love Jack Johnson.

I have another little project to share with you as well. A few weeks before graduation, I used the light from my projector to cast  a shadow of each child's silhouette onto a 11x17" sheet of white paper. I traced the shadows, cut them out, and mounted each one onto a 12x18" sheet of dark blue construction paper (our school color). Later, I labeled each profile with the student name and graduation year. These were then laminated and displayed with other artifacts from the school year for parents to take home after the ceremony. I edited the names out of the picture, but you can see a few of the finished products. They turned out so adorable.

I love using technology just as much as the next blogger and there are a lot of great tutorials online (like this one!) to create silhouettes digitally on a computer, but the ink expense for an entire class of silhouettes is a little too much to for me to justify.

 All of these pieces worked out perfectly for a wonderful graduation ceremony. I was so proud of my graduates and have already received many compliments from so many parents. 

As soon as the ceremony was over, I raced out the door to get a quick blessing from the Pastor, and went straight to the hospital for surgery. That's right- after graduation I went under the knife. If you can believe it, I actually PLANNED my surgery to immediately follow graduation. It was not an emergency, but needed to be done relatively soon. I intend to teach part time this summer and the control freak in me wanted every bit of recovery time that I could get before I had to be back in the classroom. Needless to say: between graduation, surgery, and a very rough start to my recovery; the weekend has been quite a whirlwind and this was certainly a kindergarten graduation that I will never forget.

Miraculously, I SURVIVED all of it!

Classroom Freebies Manic MondayI'm proud to link up and share the song lyrics (and more great stuff) on Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies. Click the button to the right to hop on over and grab more great freebies (and discover other fabulous blogs.) 


  1. WOW what a packed day you had!! We sing first grade, first grade too!! The parents love it every year!

    PS. I'm having a giveaway and would love to have you!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog

  2. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery! That is a fun & catchy song that you posted!! I'm glad your kindergarten graduation went well. Rest up!

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. Hope you have a quick recovery. I love all of your graduation ideas and that song is so cute!


  4. Congratulations on your blog success, your decorated drawers are super cute :)
    Dual Kinder Teacher

  5. My future first graders sing this one, too! I always smile and wave at them while they sing so they know how excited I am about opening up the doors to first grade for them! I love Jack Johnson, too!

    Owl Things First

  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful materials!! I'm happy you are on the mend :)

  7. Glad everything worked out for you!!! You sounds like you are on top of it!

  8. Love those silhouettes! Hope everything went well with the surgery!! Cute song!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  9. I'm following you, too! Thanks for sharing your info in my post comments.

    I hope you are feeling better. Take it easy!

  10. I love your shadows! One of my favorite things I remember from being a little kid.

    We are your newest follower!

    C&C Teach First

  11. Maria....
    This is amazing! I am a newbie to the blog and I cannot believe how cool it is. I am so proud to call you my friend. Keep up the great work, but FOR THE LOVE...please recover from surgery too!


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