End-of-the-Year Classroom Clean-Up Idea: The first year I taught, I felt like I had to complete all the end-of-the-year cleaning. It took forever and it was exhausting. Honestly, this was unproductive. Then, I got smart and got all those little hands busy. I do not clean the classroom room at the end of the year, but instead, the entire classroom cleans the room together. Let me show you how we do it together.
Steps to Classroom Clean Up
Step 1 for End-of-the-Year Classroom Clean-Up Idea
First, I change the structure of our learning board to a cleaning board. Let me explain. I change the choice board which normally is for Daily 5 into cleaning jobs in the room. Each student can select their job from the choices. They have to pick something. ( You can use center clips as well. I have done that in years past.)
Step 2 for End-of-the-Year Classroom Clean-Up Idea
Next, I prepare the materials in the baskets each task will require. Some baskets are empty because they do not need any supplies. Here is a picture to show how the baskets will look. Check out the yellow table will be to check the dry-erase markers. The purple table is to check and sharpen pencils. Then, the blue table is to sort and organize the number cards 1-100. Next, the red table is to sort the addition and subtraction cards into groups. Finally, the green table is cleaned, so it has baby wipes.
Keep a List of What Comes Next
The tasks listed above are a great start, but you also need to keep a running list of things that need to be done next. Therefore Step 3. I have additional areas to be cleaned listed and ready. I write it on top of the dry-erase board. This way when a job is completed, that choice needs to be changed. Since my list is ready, I don’t have to think or plan, I know what does on the board next. And yes, I add to this list ALL THE TIME.
How Do I Get The Class to Help?
How do I get the class to do this? First, I ask them to help clean up for the next group of Kinders. Many are hard workers and we have fun with this so they RUN to each task. Don’t forget there is the choice option as well.
For each job completed, I give a reward. For small jobs like checking for working markers or erasing the word family charts, I may give a mini marshmallow. The BIG jobs like sorting sight word cards or cleaning shelves may get a bigger prize. I am upfront about various rewards to encourage hard workers.
Tips I Have Learned Over Time
Here are a few tips and tricks over the years to help with the end-of-the-year cleanup. I have learned to always make puzzles and games first. They take the longest since I have so many puzzles and games. I also help man the puzzles and my aide took games. I also scatter the cleaning areas I post to the choice board so my kids are not all on top of each other.
Close it Up
Once an area is done… I close it for the year. THE END. It is no longer an option. As we clean, more and more of the room gets closed down. It is truly a beautiful thing. Also keep in mind that many, if not all, of these tasks have learning elements. Like organizing number cards 1-100, or sorting addition and subtraction cards.