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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.

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 11×17″ sheet of white paper. I traced the shadows, cut them out, and mounted each one onto a 12×18″ 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!

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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11 Responses

  1. 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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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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