A clean tidy well organized classroom is an excellent learning environment. It is an overwhelming task if a teacher does not learn to delegate and share the responsibilities. It is a continual class project.
It begins when the students first arrive in the classroom. It is clear that things are organized and have a place. Take a little tour and point out garbage cans, tissues and where things belong. Clean as you go should become a part of the everyday routine.
A project in not completed until all the tools, papers, books and things have been cleaned up and put in their proper place. It is part of the project and the students should feel a sense of pride and responsibility as they complete these tasks.
Kids should not be afraid to have a good time and get a little messy. They should learn how to clean up after themselves. This simple idea can be turned into several activities and lesson plans.
Imagine the kids walking into the classroom and one day they find the desks or tables all pushed up against the walls. There is a big empty space in the center of the room. There is a taped line through the center of the empty space. On another wall are boxes with the child’s names and belongings from the desks. Immediately they know that something is amiss. This is not the routine. Something has happened to their classroom.
It is time for the indoor snowball fight. The teacher divides the students into two teams. Each student is given a couple paper towels to scrunch up into snowballs. When the word is given the throwing begins. What a great way to start the day!
Now there are enough paper towels out and ready to clean the desks. Have the students put on their art aprons and break out the shaving cream. Shaving cream does a great job of cleaning the desk tops, spread it all around and wipe it off.
Baby wipes are a great way to get the inside of the desks cleaned before belongs back in.
Then it is time to put the class back together. It has been a change up day and a surprise. Once in awhile it is good to break up the routine.
When an activity is done all the “stuff” that went with the activity needs to be put away. If there is work to go home, put it in the backpack as soon as it is corrected or ready. If it needs to be corrected have an inbox that it is delivered to when completed. After story-time is done, books and mats are put away.
Organization is a skill that can be taught and the classroom will be a better environment for students.