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Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

The FISH! philosophy is bent on creating a positive atmosphere that brings together all members of a school community. Learn about it and you'll be hooked.

Materials Needed

  • Copies of the book FISH! Tales
  • Many other program materials are available (see articles below for information)

Time Required

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The FISH! philosophy is the basis for many activities that can span the school year, including staff meetings and day-to-day activities with students.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

FISH! is an organizational philosophy inspired by fish-flinging merchants at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington. The philosophy migrated first from Seattle to corporate offices. Now it is "spawning" a strong foothold in schools around the world. Some principals who already have tested the waters -- and even attended FISH! Camp -- say following FISH! has transformed their schools.

If you have ever been to Pike Place Fish Market, you have undoubtedly observed how animated and engaged the fishmongers there are at their work. They fire fish through the air as they fill the market with laughter. Workers give their complete attention to their customers. The result: A routine errand becomes fun for the customers and the workers.

Four key concepts rule at Pike Place Fish Market:

  • Play.
  • Make Their Day.
  • Be There.
  • Choose Your Attitude.

Now those four concepts, the heart of the FISH! philosophy, are helping educators better manage their classroom culture by shaping every day the attitudes of their students, the choices they make from moment to moment, and the way they choose to treat each other. FISH! strategies for classroom management include establishing behavior guidelines early on, so students understand that certain behaviors have consequences. Then when infractions occur, teachers can ask the student, "Are you making everyone's day? What are you choosing to do?"

Other FISH! classroom activities include having students keep track of what they do to make other peoples' days and developing action plans to do that more often. The goal is to have students internalize the behavior, so the desire to make someone's day becomes part of their personality. Teachers also can discuss with students the value of becoming the type of person who wants to make someone's day.

Does this concept sound interesting to you? The articles below will provide plenty of information.

Read More

Principals Caught Up in FISH! Philosophy
Long popular in the business world, the FISH! philosophy developed by ChartHouse Learning is rapidly gaining fans in education circles as well. Several principals told Education World that employing FISH!'s four guidelines in their schools has brought spark back to working and learning. Included: Tips on using FISH! to motivate staff.

How I Handled... Planning a Motivating Back-to-School Professional Development Day
Each year our opening workshop day with the teachers is dedicated to professional development. Like most of you, I begin to panic weeks in advance. I want to present something motivational, inspiring, and useful. I also want it to be a fun and memorable day; it should mark the start of a wonderful school year. Fortunately, last year I came across FISH!