Clean Up, Clean Up!

I heart ecards, they generally make me giggle while browsing the pinterest.

From the first day of school to the last day of school I am telling kids to clean up 6 times a day everyday. And all of summer I have been racking my brain for a better way to handle this process.

I am trying to put this scenario in a positive light: our school's students have a bad habit of walking out of class especially at the end of class, it becomes a repetitive habit that happens throughout the day so I feel like I fight a losing battle. Veteran teachers might be shaking their heads at me and saying "better classroom management" but consequences aren't something that affect my kiddo's very well.

So at the five minute mark I tell all of my students to clean up and then I stand and block the door to prevent the walking out. I can see most of the classroom from the door so I can easily tell students to fix something but that attention to detail is often missed.

Side note: I have 30 computers, 12 lego boxes and a cart full of wood, glue and various other supplies that is used in a 48 minute period nearly everyday. So messy can be an understatement.

In the short four minute passing period I run around the classroom and straighten every mouse and pick up lego's and various other supplies. I consider it my daily workouts. Throw in trying to greet my new class I suddenly feel frazzled before class even starts.

I wanted needed demanded a better plan for this year. On pinterest I stumbled across the idea of using music for transitions, so I plan to play music at the clean up time. This will trigger the students to begin putting up all of the supplies, saving work and logging off. Obviously this won't be magical unless I teach and reteach during my first week of procedures.

And instead of me trying to talk over cleaning I have provided a five step checklist at each workstation and, wait for it, a picture of how the workstation should look! There is no guessing on how to clean up and what the station should look like, its right there for them to match it exactly. I was giddy with excitement at my clever signs!

One of my sixteen workstations, I should of zoomed out each workstation has a library and open work area to the right hand side.

Five easy steps to success and a picture for the visual learners.

My favorite part of the checklist is the last step, to be seated. The more students seated the easier it is to be able to visually check the room. And a bonus for the class that cleans up exceptionally fast and efficiently could always be lining up at the door in order to get the most out of their passing period.

Trying new classroom management techniques always worries me a little, because if they fail it can cause a class to go lax. My students require consistency from day one and every day after. So I am hoping my new plan will work to keep my classroom as immaculate as I hope to have it on the first day of school without me doing classroom laps 6 times a day. Though that might mean more gym time for me.

How do you clean up a room, hold middle schoolers accountable for a clean workspace or dismiss middle school students?

The Babbling Box

1 comment

  1. Love the idea of using pictures to show what or workstation or another part of a classroom should look like! I saw that on a professional development video I watched online and plan on doing that this year as well :)... Also for certain procedures in the class such as "this is what it looks like when you're listening and ready to learn" or "this is what it looks like when we line up correctly".