Any part of the day when you find your classroom to be particularly messy while children are in attendance…
Tell them that you have laid eyes on one or two items of mystery mess. Whoever finds it in 30 seconds will get a team point or sticker. The classroom will be spotless within seconds.
Don’t let them know until everything has been put away.
I witnessed a Canadian teacher do this on my teaching practice. I have used it ever since.
A similar idea has been contributed by Ame…
The Magic Piece of Trash!
Tired of looking at the mess on your floor at the end of the day? Feeling bad for the cleaners?
Enlist the help of your students while also making it FUN for them! Here is what to do. At the end of the day, when children have packed up, let them know “the magic piece of trash” has been spotted on the floor (it can be ANYTHING … a pencil topper, a paper clip, a wrapper from snack, a tissue, etc.) … the kids start picking up as much trash as they can find on the floor, show it to you before throwing it away so you can make a mental note of who found what you earlier spotted, and once the floor has been cleaned sufficiently, announce that the magic piece of trash has been found!
Tell who and what, and reward this student with a small reward (prize / sticker / sweet). The kids LOVE it and the cleaners appreciate it too!
I use a technique where I divide my children up into groups and assign them an area of the room to clean. I tell them that when they are finished, I will come around and ‘inspect’ their areas and assign points to those that are tidy. They always enjoy trying to make their area tidy so as to get the most points. They also get bonus points if they help others clean their area once they are finished in their own area.
I have always used the “10 second tidy”. I announce at the end of the day that it is time to clean up our room. The children start under their desks and then I start counting backwards 10, 9, 8, …..0. The messier the class, the slower I go. It is done in no time.