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Re: Clean-up routine


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 15 2001 - 00:43:17 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
> I'm going into my 4th year of teaching art and STILL have not found a
> clean-up procedure that works least one period out of 5 will end
> of staying after the bell (making them tardy for their next class) because
> either A. students have left brushes, etc. in the sink B. paint isn't
> cleaned up C. tools are left on counters where they shouldn't be D. I
> could go on and on!
> So...I keep them in until someone cleans up, usually the kids who
> didn'tmake the mess and the others out there are just watching and
> complaining that we're never dismissed on time.
> Any suggestions for a fool proof clean-up procedure? (if there is such a
> thing!)
I have a couple of ideas that seem to do the job. First...find the yuckiest
brushes you can scrounge up....I mean REALLY yucky (broken, hardly any
bristles, etc). Put them in a old dirty can. You don't even have to have
enough for everyone. Now...anyone who doesn't get a yucky brush has to paint
with their finger. This is fun for about 5 mins. then the message sinks
in....just ONE person who doesn't clean up their brush (whomever it is) and
NO ONE gets to use the good brushes. Period. Forever if need be.

Another idea is to start a firm regiment about brush clean up. I have a
coffee can with a piece of wood that fits on the top and 36 holes drilled in
so I know how many brushes are out. I also have a clean piece of paper on my
desk next to the can. They must wipe their brush on the paper without paint
showing before they can put the brush in the can. You very soon start
discovering who is sloppy at clean up and who hasn't put their brush in the
can yet (be really observant the first few times and they'll think you have
eyes in the back of your head).

Paint isn't cleaned up? No painting! Doesn't matter who didn't do the clean
up work...everybody suffers. Figure out a REALLY BORING drawing lesson...the
most boring you can find or think up (something like draw the tip of your
finger 15 diff. ways)...and whip that sucker out.'ll have a few who will clean up for the whole's just
their way. THESE people each get a prize from the goodie bucket and get to
leave early...the rest of the class doesn't. You don't have to make an
announcement. I even find it's better not to. Actions speak louder than
words and believe me they're getting the message.

Complaints? Tell them to get off their bum-bums and pitch in or cut the're not listening.

They can read you like a book and they know when you mean business or
not!...and THEN peer pressure takes over, yea! Toodles....Bunki