Grade: all
Subject: other

#743. Ideas for Quick Clean-up

other, level: all
Posted Fri Dec 11 09:57:24 PST 1998 by Amy Keller (
Knox Elementary School, San Diego, CA USA
Materials Required: "Clean-up Monitor" nametags and a timer
Concepts Taught: Cooperation, Working as a group

Just a few ideas that I have found work really well for clean-up time. I work in a before-school program with 40 kids. We always do crafts and games, so there's usually a lot of clean-up. Before the staff started using these techinques clean-up took about 15 minutes. Now, I turn around and I'm always surprised and pleased how quickly they are done!!

I made some special "Clean-up Monitor" tags. I made mine on my computer with some bright graphics. The clean-up monitor makes sure that everyone is helping to clean up the room. I made about 6 for 40 kids. The general "clean-up monitor" tags have worked well, but we also decided to make more specific ones for things that sometimes don't get done well (like sweeping the floor).

Then, when it's time to clean up, I just ask who want to be a clean-up monitor. I don't know what it is... but everyone wants to help. Sometimes, I chose the students who have difficulty helping clean-up and I give them special jobs and say, "I chose you to do this because I know that I can count on you to do a wonderful job!" I tried this on a whim one day with a kindergardener who had very negative with the staff and other kids. AFter that day, she is one of the most positive, helpful kids at clean-up. Every few days, I ask her to do something special and that keeps her on track.
We also used a timer system for the weeks when we notice that they are slow at clean-up. this just lasts a few days... they try to beat their best time for clean-up. We time how long it takes for them to clean-up. All the staff members have to agree that the room is clean before the timer calls "time!" and stops the timer. then, we post their times. But, be sure to tell them that even though they are working to beat their record, they have to be neat and calm while they clean.

I hope that these tips help you in your classroom! It makes for such a smooth transition if clean-up is organized and quick. Then you can all move onto the fun stuff!!