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Principal Ideas
Volume #45


Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present four or five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.

Join the Fun --
Share an Idea!

The ideas presented in this article come from the Education World archive and from principals just like you. Since these principals have been kind enough to "show and tell" an idea, now it's your turn! Share an idea you've used to
- Celebrate Students
- Plan a Special Event
- Welcome Students Back to School
- Make Graduation Day Special
- Liven Up Your A.M. Announcements
- Motivate Teachers
- Involve Parents
- Raise Money
- Plan an Effective Staff Meeting
- Get Some Good PR for Your School
or any other topic of interest to principals.

Send your idea today to principalideas@
Be sure to include your name, your school name, and your school address because if we post your idea in Principal Ideas, we'll send you an Education World mug!

Birthday Basket

To recognize teacher and staff birthdays, I have a basket of assorted items that include notecards, pens, lotions, notepads Cafeteria, custodial, and other support staff are all included. Each staff member receives a birthday card on his or her birthday and they are invited to select a gift for themselves. They are always thrilled and appreciate the special recognition.
Thanks for this idea go to Beth Spears, Roosevelt Elementary School, Norman, Oklahoma

Peer Walk-Throughs

Twice a year teachers sign up to go with me on a peer walk-through. They go while their students are in PE or Music. During the 5-10 minutes that we stay in a classroom we focus on something specific, such as student engagement or literacy workstations. In addition, we walk the walls to see how bulletin boards and displays relate to classroom learning. After the walk-through, we debrief (discuss what we observed) and the teachers write a positive note to the peers we visited. For example, I like when I saw that
Thanks for this idea go to Suzanne Hinman, Reeder Elementary School, Gretna, Nebraska

Themed Reading Month

We promote student reading with a themed Reading Month. For example, one year we held a Reading Rodeo. We tied events to the theme. For example, we brought a horse to school and showed students how to saddle a horse and talked about safety around horses. Another activity we used to promote reading that month was multi-age reading groups; all staff participated in bringing students of different age levels together to read to each other. The month-long celebration of reading usually includes a Principal Challenge. I challenge students to read a specific number of minutes during the month. If they achieve the goal, then I do something outlandish as a reward. In the past I have kissed a pig, ridden a bicycle through the school hallways, and gone to jail. (The voc-ag students in our community built the jail cell for us.) If the stunt can be tied to the theme, all the better!
Thanks for this idea go to Kathy Koether, MFL Mar Mac School, Monona, Iowa

Character Counts in Our School

We recognize students for their demonstrations of good character. When a student demonstrates respect, responsibility, service, honesty, friendship, environmental concern, and other traits, teachers and staff give out tickets for the students above-and-beyond actions. Tickets carry the headline Character Counts @ Roosevelt Elementary. Below that headline the character traits are listed. The teacher who hands out the ticket circles the trait the student exhibited; more than one trait can be circled on a ticket. Each student who is presented a ticket writes his or her name and homeroom teachers name on the back of ticket. The tickets are placed in grade level buckets in the school office. Each Friday during our A.M. Assembly, students receive recognition for their positive behaviors and random tickets are drawn for prizes.
Thanks for this idea go to Beth Spears, Roosevelt Elementary School, Norman, Oklahoma

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