Think about a magical world where children clean up the room. This is never going to happen. Please lower expectations. That said, you can get some help with cleaning up! This time of day is a learning opportunity. Your job is to model cleaning, direct children and make sure that each child has a job and is engaged. 

Prior to clean up time the teacher should give warnings that children will be cleaning up. This should include one at least 10 minutes prior and 5 minutes prior. This should be done by quieting the class (sitting down, turning off lights, calling to attention, etc.) and making sure all children are aware that it is clean up time.

  1. Calm the class down and make sure every child is looking at you and sitting

  2. Announce that it is clean up time and give expectations to children (everyone should help, specific jobs, etc.)

  3. Promote cleaning up through a song or teacher engagement

  4. Model cleaning and give jobs to those that do not clean. For children that are counterproductive during this time, try having them wash tables, or do another special job.

  5. When children are done, make sure they know where to go and what to do so they do not begin to mess up the classroom again (example, go to carpet and get a book, or put on their coat to go outside).

Remember to let children know what to do when done cleaning up! If not, they will make a mess again. An idea is to come to the tables and read a book or color a picture. 

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Clean up time