Something else you could do to assure that you are not having to clean
up after your kids after they leave is to assign each table an
additional area of the room to be responsible for. For example, one
table is responsible for straightening your supply counter, one is
responsible for your sink area, one for the paper area, etc. Don't let
them line up until they complete their extra little task. If they are
late because they did not do their jobs and you did at least remember to
clean up on time (haha) you could penalize them in some way. They would
get the picture pretty quick. I did something hilarious and cathartic
for me with a group of 6th graders who left me a HUGE mess one day. I
was trusting them to be cleaning up as I was frenziedly (?) trying to
help a girl finish up something that she had been waiting for all period
that needed my help. All of a sudden the room was very quiet with only
two children left in the room. Everyone else LEFT and went to PE.
EVERY table had stuff on it, tools were still out, loose wire, a sketch
for a jewelry design a kid would need, several bins with their names on
it. A scrap of yellow paper with one girl's name on it. You would not
have believed it. There were even several parent volunteers in the room
with me that day. It was the worst mess I've ever seen left behnd
EVER!!! It was like someone had said "BOMB THREAT" and they all ran
out. Like a joke on me but they would all come back inside in a second
and say "April Fools!" I almost laughed myself it was so bizarre. I
grabbed my digital camera and made a powerpoint of it to take up their
time the following morning. When they came in, they said, "Oh!! A
MOVIE!!!" I said, "um hmmm...:"
One of them had a pretty good idea it was not going to be about art. I
think he was one of the last two left behind. The other moms and I
cleaned it all up as the kids who were still there HAD done THEIR jobs
and were going to be late if I kept them. The Powerpoint started out in
black with the rainbow colored letters in large print asking "Do you
know what Mrs. Woods, Mrs. Cherches, and Mrs. Bailey did yesterday after
Second slide: "Did they have a party?"
Third slide: "Did they go out to breakfast?
Eat Ice Cream? Go shopping?"
Fourth slide: "Did they get to make their own art in their OFF
FIfth Slide: "DId they get to read a book in their OFF PERIOD?????"
Sixth Slide: "Was what they did REALLY FUN????"
Seventh Slide: "Can we do what they did today????"
And then I showed slides of the STUFF left on every counter and table.
The kids by this time were all denying that they had all put their own
things away, which made it even better because I could zoom in on
someone's name on items left behind, show complete settings where the
kid had abandoned tools and wire at their SEAT where they were sitting.
It was GREAT!!!
One slide had a closeup of the sketch for a project and it said "It's
so nice when you know exactly where your sketch is so you don't have to
do it over again the next day." One slide had a little scrap of torn
yellow paper with just "Danni" on it. Hilarious. One slide had Mrs.
Bailey's daughter's bin left out on the table with a closeup of her
nametag and the messy table in the background. That one said. "Poor
Mrs. Bailey...." There were about 8 slides at least of their stuff
left out, all had cryptic messages written on the slide. At the end,
the last slide said "The Plan"
1. New assigned seats. 2. Additional jobs assigned to each table
(counters, supply cart, hammers and anvils put away, side counter by
sink, sink, and front counter.
3. No one leaves until the entire room is clean and inspected and you
are in your seats.
In the past, I have always been able to let the 6th grade dismiss by
table by table as they were ready, however, I ended that. This group
was just plain less responsible than average 6th graders. I want you to
know, however, that after the powerpoint, there were many appologies.
The room was perfect every day from then on and it happened quickly. I
deleted the photos from this powerpoint, but left all of the text
(except deleted the volunteers names and just left mine.) It sits in my
laptop waiting just incase I ever have another grade that ever does
anything like that again. I promise you, I was laughing out loud the
whole time I was creating my little slide show. So perfect.
Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.