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No doubt you've seen these handclappers that are sold at party and novelty stores far and wide. These noisemakers are the centerpiece of a fun meeting activity that I did with my staff. I gave out handclappers and asked staff members to share what they like about our school and what is working well at our school. If the "audience" agrees with what a staff member has to say, they clap with their clappers.

Alternatively, you might make a list of things you like about your school and ask staff members to applaud if they agree. You might say...

  • We love kids.
  • We make a difference.
  • We are integrating technology with our instruction.
  • Our grade level teams collaborate beautifully.
  • We grow professionally as a staff.
  • We love our principal!

    This is an easy, non-threatening, and fun ice-breaker for the start of the school year or the start of any meeting. I also like this activity because it is one that teachers can take from our meeting and incorporate into their classrooms. You might even give out some door prizes of class sets of clappers to the best ideas that teachers share during the meeting. Their peers can vote on the best ideas by using their clappers!

    Bryan McLain, principal, Denton Creek Elementary School, Coppell, Texas

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