Teachers are definitely appreciative of holiday gifts from kids and families, but if they could give you one hint, it would be, "Please, no more ceramic apples, coffee mugs, or ornaments." Seriously.

The fact is, what teachers most appreciate is help for the classroom, but it can be very difficult for parents to find (or choose) the kind of classroom materials that teachers really need -- until now.

So my tip this week: See if your room parents can help your teachers set up Classroom Holiday Gift Lists on TeacherLists.com. These are like wedding registries for teachers, and the store is powered by the most popular teacher's supply company around, School Specialty, Inc. Teachers can create a list of exactly the teaching and classroom supplies they want. And no ceramic apples!

Parents love the chance to simply thank teachers with a gift the teachers will really use and appreciate.

Schools, teachers, and parent groups are finding all kinds of creative uses for the TeacherLists.com site. This Classroom Holiday Gift List  function for the holidays is perhaps the best example yet. We'd love to hear how it works for your school -- give it a shot!