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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for over 23 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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The End of School is Almost Here

The end of the year is quickly approaching! This is such an exciting time for everyone. The thought of sleeping in, hanging out by the pool, taking a late-night walk, or a long fun family vacation is weighing on everyone’s mind. Here are some things to do to finish out the year strong!

1. Have everyone bring in a pillowcase. With a paint marker in the middle of the pillow, you will write:

           Now I lay me down to sleep,

           I count these hands instead of sheep,

           And think of all the friends I’ve made,

           In “Miss Shipley’s” Pre-K (change the name and the grade)

Paint each child’s hand a different color and have them lay their hand on the pillowcase. Write their name by their hand, and they have an end-of-the-year gift to remember your classroom and their friends.

2. Take time one afternoon to make Ice Cream in a Baggie and have an outdoor day with games. Here is the recipe for ice cream!

3. Invite parents for a morning breakfast and make smoothies in a baggie. Here is the recipe for Smoothies in a Baggie!

After breakfast, I would invite the families to stay for a short program that included fun awards and a gift for each parent. I would find an overhead projector (hopefully, schools still have these hidden away and will let you use it) and set it up where there is ample space on the wall. Get black butcher paper and have each child sit on a chair. Turn on the projector screen, and the light will outline the child’s head. I traced the outline of their face and cut it out. After I cut it out, I pasted the black paper to a large piece of white construction paper. Families love this gift! (This is an “old” project my teachers used to do when I was in school—nothing new!)

4. I think an essential thing to do all year is to keep a folder of student work and progress. I also made a handprint calendar. It took all year, as we did one handprint per month. There are many ways to do this, but they are so much fun, and parents and students love to go back and look through them. Here is an example of a handprint calendar to generate some ideas.

As teachers, we know there are not many days that we truly get to take for just ourselves. But please remember it is essential to charge your batteries too. Here are some things to try:

  • Clean up your room and get everything in your classroom ready for “summer”.
  • Take time for yourself, sleep in, have lunch with friends, and try to focus on yourself.
  • Attend workshops throughout the summer, not all at once.
  • Attend a fun and engaging, creative, and inspiring workshop right before school beings. This will recharge your battery, and you will have new ideas to start the school year.

We know how exciting it is to start the new school year too. So all summer, collect fun things from garage sales, workshops, etc., to start the new school year right. See you in a few months! 

~ Tisha


A to Z Teacher Stuff: Little Giraffes. (2015). Handprint Calendar.           

Shipley, Tisha. (2015). The Busy Classroom. Letter I Recipes for Teachers to Use with Students.

Shipley, Tisha. (2016). The Busy Classroom. Letter S Recipes for Teachers to Use with Students.