August 13, 2012

end of the day "reset"

t- 1 day and counting
Tomorrow is the last day without students.
Between all the meetings this week I've been able to get a little more done in my room.

Last year I had an epiphany while doing end of the day clean-up.

Now --- we all clean-up at the end of every class --- but the last class of the day does what I call the "reset".

My schedule changes every year.
Year one I had 3rd grade at the end of the day.
Year two I had 2nd grade.
This year I have 5th (which is great because they did this when they were the 3rd graders).

Basically they not only have to make sure my room is clean, they have to reset it for the following day.

Last year I would use a dry-erase marker and write out what each leader's responsibility was when the end of the last hour drew near.
Once it was written on the white board I would refer the students to that instead of repeating myself.

However, I was still repeating myself.
Because I was writing and re-writing the same phrases day after day.

Thus the epiphany.
Behold the solution:
I cut out long strips of white poster board.
Used a thick sharpie to write the same phrases that I always write.
Laminated them.
Set the stack on the marker tray right underneath the leadership positions.
Now I can easily shuffle these around for the end of the day "reset" clean-up jobs.
I won't use them every hour because their leader job already covers what needs to be done at the end of a regular class period.

These were some of the phrases I wrote:
* Sharpen Pencils *
* Organize Tubs *
* Clean Floor *
* Clean-up tables = 1 paper towel *
* Clean off the glue bottle tops = 1 damp paper towel *
* Put art materials back on bookshelf *
* Organize free-time Area *
* Hang up and organize art Aprons *
* Help out where you can *

Lastly, I added some signage or "footage" to my room this year to help with organization.
This will help the flow when we need to use the sink.

I also made paper paintbrushes that I put out in the hallway to point the way to the bathrooms.
The kids need a map to make it there and back safely.


  1. Love the ideas in your post! I especially love the footprints idea! I am going to try it by my sink for my little guys so they are not meandering all over when there are a couple waiting to wash hands! Laughed when you said they needed a map to get to and from the bathroom! Our K-2 school has bathrooms in the classroom. Our 3-5 does not. They have to sign out of my room to use it and they are on a time limit. :)

    1. Oohh! I love the time limit idea!

  2. Do you ever find that you have a lot less time for the last class of the day??? My 42 minute class is cut short to about 33-35 minutes because I have to dismiss the kids to the bus. At our district, elementary and high school ride the same bus morning and night so we have to dismiss the elementary kids earlier so they don't get trampled by the older kids. I love this reset idea but I barely have enough time to have them clean their stuff up, put the chairs up, go into the hallway to get their items, and line up! Do you have any pointers??

    Jen (

  3. Great blog, I'm glad I came across it. I love the cleanup organization you have, its so important that the students have responsibility for the art materials. I always tell them that its not my art room but their art room and their art supplies.

  4. I heart your blog! I'm a new GFC follower :)

  5. That is so neat! Very creative! Well done! :)