Sunday, August 30, 2009
Clean Up Procedures
* It's hard to stop what you're doing when it's time to clean up so, I give a warning before it's time to clean up. Especially if we are painting or doing something messy. No use pouring paint onto your palette if art is almost over.
* I will say, "5 minutes to work. 5 minutes before it's time to stop and clean up." Sometimes I even temporarily ask everyone to "freeze" to go over what will happen at clean up time: what everyone will do when the bell rings.
* Visually, the numbers of the timer serve as a reminder that our time is limited. I manually make the bell ring.
1. Tools: Everyone stops using their tools. The tool helper collects the tools and puts them away.
2. Artwork: Everyone stops working on their artwork. The paper helper collects the artworks and puts it all in the table folder.
3. Silent: Everyone sits silently waiting to be called to line up.
That is a PERFECT cleanup scenario. It rarely is that straightforward. For some reason, Clean Up Time seems to be when even students who have been working quietly all class become excited and talkative. There is a necessary amount of communication that needs to happen but, it's the "Sitting Silent" that seems to be the hardest for students to remember to do.
Unless things are getting completely off track, after giving my pre-cleanup instructions, I usually hang back and watch the controlled chaos of the classroom clean up happen. It's amazing to watch a class get it done without any intervention from me! That is a great feeling and the ultimate goal. Sometimes and especially in the beginning of the year, I will stand by the Clean Up sign and silently point to "#3 Silent." If it works how I want it to, a ripple affect happens and students catch on to my hint. For this to really work, you must allow a few extra minutes to have the students catch on to what you are doing, praise them for doing the right thing and perhaps reflect on what could be done better next time.