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.
Clean Up
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.


Amanda said...

I was wondering, how do you handle the clean up of wet art work? Does the paper helper collect one wet art work at a time and bring it to a drying table or drying rack?

Karen said...

Hi Amanda

I announce beforehand what will happen during cleanup and how to get their papers to the drying rack.

While the tool helpers are collecting the supplies to put away, I call the table to the drying rack that seems to have the hardest time following directions FIRST. The reason I do this is because if they dilly dally... everyone is waiting for them and it gets them to hustle. Also, they JUST heard what the directions are so, it's fresh in their head.

I stand by the drying rack and assist students putting their work in (it's a tricky rack to get the next "shelf" down). This is happening near the sink where the tool helpers are also returning the supplies so, if they need help... I'm already there.

I have the students stand in a single file. If they cut, form two lines, etc... it begins to crowd the drying rack and it becomes chaos.

As they put their artwork in the drying rack, they all turn and walk away in the same traffic flow.

If they need to wash their hands... and we have time for them to do this... and the tool helpers are finished at the sink... students can go to the sink. But, I try to discourage washing hands during cleanup because it becomes a social event and a backed up line.

Hope this helps!

Amanda said...

Thank you. It does. I'm a new art teacher and clean up seems to turn a bit crazy.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

In the past I have had trouble getting the kids to actually start clean up. This year I play a "Clean up" Song -I chose the Overture to "Candide". As soon as they hear the opening chords, they jump into action. My recording is 4 1/2min. long-usually just right.