One of the most challenging areas of classroom management for many art specialists is the last five minutes – clean up. I was frustrated with students who “got lost” on their way to wash their hands (aka socializing with friends), so I developed a “Clean Up Map” to help students find their way.
I started by creating and laminating a large (about 3′ x 3′) map (like a treasure map) with a line leading to “X” marks the spot. It was so large that my school laminator couldn’t handle it so I had to go to Office Max (50% off lamination for teachers in August).
Next, Photo and laminate examples of clean up tasks. (Photo children sitting at a clean table, washing hands, turning in artwork to drying rack, etc.).
Add Velcro to back side of picture and tabs along the Clean Up Map route.
Add numbers with additional Velcro to front side of clean up tasks to show sequential steps If time allows, I set up the map sequence before class, otherwise, I set it up with the children watching and go over it at the same time reinforcing the clean-up routine for the day.
I also use giant laminated X’s (one for each table) to hand to one student (or assign older students to retrieve) when all students at their have completed the clean up map. I allow X marks the spot tables to get in line first as positive reinforcement. Getting the X for each table seems to be the best part of the clean up routine for the students. The best part of the map for me is a far more orderly end to class – the only drawback is keeping the kids from running to finish their clean up faster=:)