Summer is almost here and you can practically hear the excitement crackling in your classroom. There’s just one thing: You have to get a whole year’s worth of teaching supplies and student work organized and put away before you can call it a year. Does classroom cleanup have you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Let us help!
5 Tips for an Efficient Classroom Cleanup
Try these clever cleanup hacks to get your room in ship shape so you can leave it behind for a few months.
Invest in Infrastructure
When you have a collection of books, art supplies, toys, and games to store, it helps to have the right equipment. Invest in sturdy storage crates to hold all of your precious cargo. Make it even easier by color-coding them by category or curriculum unit.
If you choose opaque boxes, make sure to label them clearly so you know where to find everything in August. You can also keep construction paper neatly organized in a compartmentalized shelving unit—it will keep your paper in much better condition than stacking it.
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Make a List of What You Need
As you are packing up and putting things away for summer, consider which supplies, tools, organizational items, and decorations need to be replaced. Things wear out over the years and you may have just used up the last of your labels. Keep a sheet of paper handy for making a checklist so you can remember to purchase any classroom materials you need before back to school in the fall.
Pack Student Portfolios
If you’re like most teachers, you’ve got stacks of student work lying around your room. Maybe it once graced a bulletin board or display case, but now it’s time to return it all to its rightful owners.
For oversized artwork, workbooks, and other awkwardly shaped projects, send students home with an art portfolio to hold it all. An accordion-style expansion folder is an economical choice for standard-sized worksheets. Have students decorate them for one last activity to highlight all they’ve accomplished during the school year!
Classroom Cleanup Countdown
If packing up your classroom strikes you as kind of a downer, try turning it into part of a countdown celebration with your students. For a 10-day classroom cleanup countdown, divide your room into 10 sections (for example, you could divide each of the four walls into two parts and the floor space in half). Use colorful masking tape to mark division lines and hang an 8-1/2 x 11-inch poster of the day’s number in each section.
Pack Things with Fall In Mind
Keep back to school in mind as you pack away your materials, supplies, and tools. Organize the packing process with the priority items in easy-to-find places. This will make it much easier to get things out and get the classroom back in action when you return at the end of the summer.
Need More Classroom Cleanup Help?
As you count down the last 10 days of school, get your students involved in packing and cleaning up all the materials, posters, and supplies in the corresponding section of your classroom. More hands make less work, and adding the cleaning to a celebratory countdown will keep things fun. Best of all, your room will be organized and ready for summer by the last day of school!
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With your classroom cleanup complete, be sure to celebrate your students for their hard work. Check out the Schoolyard’s End of the Year page for ideas to reward students for all they’ve accomplished this year!
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