Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.
When a teacher is out of his or her classroom with the students, I write a positive note on the whiteboard, then pull the map down to cover the note. When the teacher returns to the classroom and pulls on the map to return it to position, he or she will be quite surprised and happy to read what I have written!
Thanks to Linda Nudd, principal at Bellevue Elementary School in Bellevue, Iowa
Country-Western Opening Day
To get parents involved and to add some fun to our opening day of school, we allowed students and teachers to wear western gear and hats. We held a parent night "Hoe Down BBQ" and organized a whole-school line-dance assembly.
Thanks to Mike Catrilo, principal at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Grandperson's -- Not Grandparents -- Day
We hold a Grandperson's Day on the Friday before Mother's Day. A "grandperson" in a child's life (not necessarily a grandparent) attends a special performance and goes to the student's classroom to work on a project. Then the grandperson accompanies the child to lunch and recess. One year, our fifth graders presented a USO show -- as a culminating activity related to their study of WWII -- for Grandperson's Day.
Source: "Principals Share Parent Involvement ideas " (EducationWorld.com -- February 28, 2000)
Families Come First on Graduation Day
We believe graduation is a time for families to come first. Families come to see their kids walk across the stage, so everything works from there. We make an extra effort to communicate carefully and often with families about the upcoming events. We spend the extra postage to mail each family an invitation to the ceremony along with information about how many tickets they will receive, parking, times, dress you name it, we mail it. We also know that the best speeches at graduation are the ones given by students. We let them talk about their four years and the future. We don't get some Ph.D. to tell kids to be flexible or to be lifelong learners.
Source: Tony Pallija, "Make Graduation Day a Special Day Across the Grades" (EducationWorld.com -- May 13, 2003)
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