In my room, clean up time takes 10 minutes for 30 stduents. My classes meet
back-to-back with no time in between for clean up, so the materials must be
made ready by the first group for the next group. Students sit at 2 very
large tables (each made of 4 tables). To start a painting task, I ask one
half of the large table to get paint, palette, cup, brushes. When the first
half is all set, the next half of the table goes. By now you're thinking,
"But I asked about clean up not set up". It is important because 10 minutes
before class is over, I ask that first group to clean up and send the groups
up in the same order, which the kids understand and can anticipate getting
themselves to a good stopping place.
The first time my youngest student paint, I am all over them with clean up.
I legitimately scrutinize every palette, brush, and cup that is returned to
the work center - clean and dry. If the materials aren't clean enough, the
students are sent back to do a better job. This works VERY WELL. It is
important to summon patience and not rush through this because it is very
important groundwork. After this first time, there are very few problems.
In your situation with the sink outside the room, I imagine you have one
foot in the hall and the other in the classroom. Your supply table should be
positioned just inside your room so you can see the supplies being returned.
If this is not possible, do a visual inspection as they pass by you..."the
password is clean" type of thing. It is obvious that many of my 7th and 8th
grade students have never cleaned a thing in their lives, so now I guess I
teach that, too!