Creating a joyful school staff is one of the most important things a principal can do. Read this veteran principal's tips on how to go about doing this.

Creating a Joyful School Staff

Please welcome Stephanie of Principal Principles.  Stephanie has written a timely piece for us to enjoy.  With staff morale so low at many schools, her ideas could be just the boost your school needs to make working there a joyous experience.  Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing with us! Appreciation and morale on a campus go hand-in-hand.  People starve for appreciation.  Being recognized and appreciated for

Primary teachers love the book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?"--and for good reason! Learn more ways to use this community-building book in your classroom to teach your students how to be bucket fillers instead of bucket dippers.

Ideas for Using the Book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

I am so pleased to welcome Tama Trotti, who blogs at Across the Pond. While this is a great post for primary, these ideas can be adapted for older students as well. Even big kids need full buckets! Two years ago, I discovered bucket fillers, and we are still going strong with it in my class.  I purchased the book Have you Filled a Bucket Today? A

Sowing the Seeds of Classroom Success: Creating a Caring Classroom

I am so excited, and also a bit nervous, because I (along with three other great teacher-bloggers) have been invited to present at one of Laura Candler’s awesome webinars! We are collaborating together to bring you a bevy of strategies, activities, and ideas for starting your year off right. The focus will be on the building community and team-building aspects of this special time of year. We

Helping children make and keep friends is important for all kids, but it's especially important with kids who struggle with social skills. These Friendship Cards will help you address how your students treat each other in a variety of ways and through a variety of methods.

Helping Children to Make and Keep Friends in Your Classroom

As you get to know your new class, you will no doubt notice that some children seem to attract friends with no effort at all. They instinctively know what to say and do. Others are not so fortunate. Those are the kids who sit alone at lunch, who can never find a partner without being paired by the teacher, and who will go to the

Every classroom has a rejected or neglected child--really, probably more than one. What can we, as educators, do for these children? How can we learn to recognize and support them? It's important to understand the social hierarchy of your class in order to truly build a positive and welcoming classroom environment.

The Rejected or Neglected Child in Your Class

Ideally, the classroom is a place where everyone is valued and accepted. In reality this is seldom the case. Some children seem to be socially gifted – they know how to work and play with others, and for the most part, they are popular and well liked. For other, less fortunate children, the social world of the classroom and, perhaps more importantly, the playground is

Three Reasons Why is a fun and thought-provoking game that gets your students doing lateral thinking. The task cards provide questions that encourage students to think critically about given scenarios and why certain decisions were made.

Three Reasons Why: Creative Questions to Ask Kids

Got a few minutes? Play Three Reasons Why with your students. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it encourages students to think flexibly. Just ask your students one of these questions and see what answers they come up with. Jacob did his homework, but he did not turn it in. List three possible reasons why. Karen got invited to a birthday party, but she did not

Saying "thank you" can be more exciting and personalized than writing a simple note. Read this list for thank you note ideas that includes crafts, multi-media, and other creative ideas!

10 Fun and Creative Thank You Note Ideas

Writing thank you notes for holiday gifts doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are 10 creative thank you note ideas to help make writing thank yous fun! Make thank you notes into an art project: Get out the crayons, the glitter, and the glue. Have your child make a picture (ideally incorporating the gift), and then write a note underneath or on the back.

Every teacher has had that class where the students just can't seem to be nice to each other. These seven tips will give you ideas for how to help children get along in your class. We hope you see an improvement in positive relationships and niceness after implementing them!

7 Ways to Help Children to Get Along

One year I had a particularly challenging group of third graders in terms of classroom culture. They just did not get along. They frequently treated each other unkindly. There were, of course, a few ring leaders, but it seemed like many of the other kids just kind of went along.   Here are some of the things my teaching partner and I did to try to make

Compassion: The Third “C”

It has occurred to me that Compassionate Thinking could be added to Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking as subject areas for Minds in Bloom. Certainly, it is at least as important, as the other two. In fact, a person who possesses the latter two qualities in spades without the first, aside from being a world-class jerk, could also be quite dangerous. So in addition to

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