Before the Ceremony
1. Wiggle Worms: All children get a little wiggly when it comes to sitting for a lengthy period of time. Promise a handful of gummy worms after the ceremony and tell them to wiggly the worms into their mouths!
2. Independent Activity: Students need an independent, quiet activity while you are gathering last minute materials or you are all waiting to be called to the auditorium. Here are some great ways to motivate students and keep them engaged while you run around making sure everything is ready!
a. Memory or Reflection Activities
Ideas the can easily be written on the board:
* Favorite memory of the year.
* Write to next year's class and tell them what to expect.
(This works well to place on the bare bulletin board at the beginning of the year!)
* Create a list of favorite things:
(subject, sport, friends, special area, outside school activity, food, color, music, etc.)
* What do you want to be when you grow up?
* What do you think you will do when you graduate high school?
(I like to do this one and keep them! When my fourth graders graduate from high school, I send them a graduation card with this in it! Kids AND parents LOVE it! I include my email and address in the card and their responses are priceless!
b. Free Brainteasing Task Cards
* Guess the number
* Brainteaser questions
* Hidden meaning
* How many words can you make out of summer?
During the Ceremony
3. Photo Slideshow: Dig through all the pictures you took throughout the year. Place them on a photo slideshow. Play it either before and after the ceremony with music. Or have it running during the ceremony.
A selection of music to play:
* The Time of My Life: David Cook
* Hero: Mariah Carey
* Good Riddance (Time of Your Life): Green Day
* Beautiful Day: U2
* Happy: Pharrel Williams
* Just the Way You Are: Bruno Mars
* What a Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong
* It's My Life: Jon Bon Jovi
* Fly Like an Eagle: Steve Miller Band
4. Awards: Academic, perfect attendance, and end of grade awards are staples to be given at the ceremony, but each child should get a personal award to reflect their year in your class. Make it fun by holding your own ceremony in your classroom to give out a personal award to each student!
These are unique awards where each student is given a famous person award. There is a description of why the student got that person's award AND a quote from the famous person. Super Cute! There is a color version, black and white, and a version where you can place your student's picture in to make it even more personal.
5. Poem to Students: After a whole year with your precious babies, let them (and their parents) know how much they mean to you. It is time to get sentimental!
Copy this and fill in the blanks!
What About Me?
I'm proud of all the strides you've made,
And now you are ready to move onto _______ grade.
You are probably saying, "The end is finally near!"
And I see how much you've grown this year.
I thank your parents for being there the whole year through,
My job was easier because they supported you.
You've become writers, scientists, mathematicians, and more,
Your eagle wings are ready for you to soar!
It is now time to send you off on your way,
But do you ever wonder what happens to me at the end of the day?
After the hugs and graduation handshake,
I sit down exhausted and look forward to a summer break.
I reflect on how much you touched my heart in many ways,
I only hope that you remember me and your _____ grade days.
I will always cherish you and keep you close to my heart,
And give you never ending well wishes while we are apart.
I hope that some day you will come back to visit me,
We will share your news and remember how it used to be.
After the Ceremony
6. Ice cream Bar:
There are cute ideas on Pinterest like diploma cookies and graduation cap cupcakes, My favorite is an ice cream buffet! Get big tubs of ice-cream, some waffle bowls, and tons of ingredients to top off the cool delicious dessert!
Use signup genius to list ingredients and ask parents for help!
Ideas for ingredients:
* chocolate and strawberry syrup
* oreo crumbles
* Reese pieces
* cereals like Rice Krispies or Cheerios
* graham cracker crumbles
* gummy bears
* Sour Patch Kids
* whipped cream
7. Dance Party:
Since the kids have to sit still during the ceremony, promise them a dance party afterwards! Put on some fun music and let them dance! Even if you do it for 10 minutes, they will thank you!
Idea: Occasionally turn off the music and they need to freeze. Turn it back on and they start again. Fun!
8. Autographs: Give the students time to get each other's autographs!
* Have students bring in a T-shirt
* Include it as part of a memory book
* Give them a beach ball
9. Gifts for Students:
* Letter to students- Write a nice little note to your students.
Idea: Include your address. Tell them that you will write to them over the summer and ask them to reply!
* Flash drive of music played throughout the year.
* A framed class picture.
* Frisbee- This year flew by!
* Popsicle- Have a cool summer!
* Bubbles- You blew me away this year!
* Ball- This year has been a ball!
* Kool-Aid- Have a Kool summer!
* Candy- You made this year sweet!
* Cookie- You are one smart cookie!
* Chalk- Chalk it up to a great year!
10. Letter to Parents: Send a sweet note to parents thanking them for sharing their children and trusting you with them. Include some ideas for summer reading!
I hope you found some ideas to help your ceremony be a success!
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