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Re: clean up

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From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilensk_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 09:10:29 PDT


All this talk about clean-up promted me to add my two cents worth here. Clean up is always a tight-rope walk at best, but I have found a couple of things that work for me that might help others. I teach at an elementary school, K-5, by the way, but I think this could work at
other levels as well. Consistency is the key here, as well as keeping things simple. My routine varies a little with the age level, but about 5 minutes before the end of class, I announce clean up time. For starters, everyone is responsible for the section they are sitting at,
regardless of who made the mess. Next, I announce how much time they have to get ready to go, and also announce that the cleanest, quietest table gets in line to leave first. Everyone sits at their table until dismissed, so it becomes glaringly obvious who the slackers are. This
has worked for me for almost 30 years now, with few major glitches in the system. The kids know exactly what the expectations are, and regardless if they are drawing or making paper mache, the rules are the same, just the materials are different to protect the innocent! I also
have had great sucess with something that costs little and gives big returns--whisk broom and dust pan sets purchased at the dollar store. The kids love them and covet the chance to use them, even when there is nothing to sweep! As far as brushes are concerned, I usually have
kids put them in the sink and I wash them later, because their concept of washing is a lick and a promise that usually ends with brushes getting ruined. It only takes me a couple of minutes to wash them out and then I'm sure its done right.

Hope this helps,

Jerry

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