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Principal Ideas
Volume #49


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!

Principals Math Sweepstakes

Each week, I create a math problem for each grade level (K-5). I calculate the percentage of correct answers for each grade. The class with the highest percentage gets a color-coded sticker on a bar graph in the main lobby. The names of all students who had the correct answer go into a hopper and one student per grade is selected as the winner. His or her name is announced on the PA, and the student is awarded a medal that says on it #1 and Winner as well as a gold pencil that is engraved Principals Sweepstakes Winner. At the end of the year, the class with the highest percentage of grade-level wins earns an ice-cream party and the class with the highest percentage school-wide earns a pizza party.
Thanks for this idea go to Dr. Rhonda Dawn Farkas, P.S. 152, School of Science and Technology, Brooklyn, New York

Staff Olympics

We do this activity at our last staff meeting of the school year, but it would make a fun activity for the start of the year or anytime. I organize all staff members into teams of 4 to 6 members. Our schools PE teacher plans various stations in the gym with activities that require little athleticism. Winning teams of each activity earn points and the overall champs get lunch on me.
Thanks for this idea go to Eric Nelson, O.H. Schultz Elementary School, Mishicot, Wisconsin

Do You Know This Student?

Do You Know This Student? is a popular feature in our monthly school-to-home newsletter. We include a picture of one of our students along with some important information about that student. Students included in this feature might distinguish themselves in a wide variety of ways. For example, we might spotlight a student who excels in sports; a student who helps open the school very early every morning; or a student who plays a very active role in our recycling efforts
Thanks for this idea go to Sorelis Perez, Christian Nazarene Academy, Puerto Rico

Solid Gold

Our weekly assembly is the place where we hand out each weeks Golden Awards. These awards are given by our non-teaching staff as a way to reward kids for good behavior at times when they are not being supervised by their classroom teachers.

  • The Golden Tray, for example, is given by the lunch aides. It goes to the class with the best behavior in the lunchroom.
  • The Golden Toilet Brush goes to the class that does their bathroom business neatly, quickly, and without disruption.
  • And the Clean Sweep Award -- a golden dustpan and brush -- is given each week by our custodians for the cleanest classrroom.
We make a big deal of these awards and take the opportunity to reinforce the idea that good behavior matters for all staff members.
Thanks for this idea go to Marcy Acock, Prairie Elementary School, Haysville, Kansas

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