We have one less custodian this year so keeping the art room clean and manageable has become a bigger job for me and my students. My room gets swept maybe once every two weeks. I remembered my "magic piece of trash" technique so I've been using it once again and my floors remain (relatively) clean.
Here it is:
(I always do a quick lesson on the procedure before I start for the year)
- During clean-up time, I announce to the class that I have chosen a magic piece of trash on the floor.
- As students clean up, I look around the classroom to see what students are picking up. They are instructed to pick up trash and throw it away--I am always watching to see who finds it.
- At this time, it is important to reinforce to students that if they ask me if they found it or run or shout, etc., I will pick a new magic piece of trash.
- When students line up, I announce the "winner" who is the person who threw away the magic piece of trash and the receive some small reward (sticker, line leader, etc.).
I don't know why this works so well but it does. I also have a "cleanest, quickest, quietest table" award at the end of class that really helps too. In DECATS, they have the "golden plunger" award for cleanest bathrooms. Maybe I'll call my clean up awards the "golden sponges"?