This is another classroom management tip I picked up recently, but not at the webinar. On Wednesday I spent the morning observing a teacher who teaches grade 5 at a different school. It was a very relaxing day and it was amazing to see some of the things he does in his classroom. The one that I have tried so far with my class was the two minute classroom clean-up, followed by inspection before dismissal.
Mrs. W and I have been bemoaning the paper and pencils, oh the pencils! that get left on the floor when class is done. I was tired of having the classroom look like a hurricane had come through at the end of the day, despite asking “Everyone, please pick at least 6 things off the floor and tidy up your desk” at the end of the day. It just wasn’t working.
So the idea with the 2 minute clean up is to give them 2 minutes – he used music and I think I’ll do the same once I decide on a song – to clean the classroom up and then we inspect the floor to see that everything is picked up. If I find something, they owe me 2 minutes at recess. It turns it in to a kind of game. I walk around the classroom during the inspection with my nose up in the air, pretending to inspect flecks of dirt as they hold their breath and try not to giggle. I’ve only done it for two days but my goodness I’ve never seen our classroom so clean! The janitor even commented on it today. It gives me a nice relaxed feeling at the end of the day when I see the classroom so tidy.
How do you encourage your students (or children or spouses) to clean up?