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Principal Ideas
Volume #46


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!

Golden Garbage Can

Our custodian chooses the class with the cleanest room each week and bestows on them the Golden Garbage Can. The class displays (and uses) the honored can for the week they have it -- until they have to give it up to the next winning classroom. (Or will they keep it for two weeks in a row?)
Thanks for this idea go to Doreen Harris, Stewartsville Elementary School, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Were on the Fast Track

We used a racing theme as our staff theme this year. It is an appropriate theme because we are always racing around and we are on the fast track to success. NASCAR racers are sponsored by various businesses (for example, Home Depot, Pepsi). Each month we feature a different driver, car, and sponsor. Teachers fill in a racing pit pass that shares how they survived in the trenches during the month. The thoughts shared provide helpful tips for making it to the finish line as they illustrate how we are all winners. We hold a drawing each month: we draw pit passes for prizes related to the driver, his/her car, or sponsor.
Thanks for this idea go to Debbie Morris, GSL Elementary Schools, Glencoe-Silver Lake, Minnesota

Behavior Bucks

Each week, I share during announcements our character-related word of the week. All week long, teachers give students Hawkins Bucks (named for our school social worker, Mrs. Hawkins) for exhibiting that character trait. Students can bring their bucks to Mrs. Hawkins to redeem them for prizes.
Thanks for this idea go to Zenna Smith, Palestine-Wheatley Elementary School, Palestine, Arkansas

Staff on Display

Each of our teachers creates a tri-fold display board (similar to the type you might see at a science fair) about themselves.

  • On the middle part of the board, each teacher includes his or her name, grade level, and teaching philosophy.
  • On the left panel, teachers provide personal information; for example, number of children, hobbies, photos, fun facts
  • On the right panel, each teacher includes information about their education, a mentor, a hero, a favorite book
The tri-folds tell students and families about our staff. The boards are on display at Open House and during conference times. An additional benefit is that staff members often learn a lot about each other from the displays. Teachers, aides, and secretaries -- even the superintendent and special education director -- have display boards.
Thanks for this idea go to Susan Ford, Lathers Elementary School, Garden City, Michigan

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