August 12, 2013

Management Monday: End of the Day Routine

Happy Monday!  T minus 1 week until back to school for teachers in my district!  Eep!  I have a couple more Management Monday posts to share with you to help you get ready for back to school!  Since there was no real interest in a link up, I'm just going to keep this a regular post.  One routine I really struggled with my first year was our end of the day/clean up routine.  It was pretty much a free for all, the kids screwed around, and the floor never got clean.  Basically, my worst nightmare!  Here's what works for me now:

The last 10 or so minutes of the day, I go over homework assignments on our homework board.  My kiddos fill out their assignment notebooks and color a square in their behavior calendars (thanks Clutter-Free Classroom!) to reflect where they ended the day on our clip chart.  Once I've read all the assignments and answered questions, I put on our closing song.  I've written before about how I use "anchor songs" throughout the day at key moments.  Linking a song to our closing routine and cleanup helps the kids remember the routine and stay focused on what they need to do.  I usually pick a fun, upbeat song for closing.  Our favorites last year were "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus and "Who Says" by Selena Gomez.
After the kids have filled our their assignment books and colored their calendars, they raise their hand.  I grab a self-inking stamp (or one of my little helpers chooses one for me :), and walk around the room to check the planners of the kids with raised hands, stamping them when they are correctly filled out.  If they are not correct, I simply point to the HW board and say, "Not complete," before moving on to the next kid.  
Self-Inking Stamps from Lakeshore Learning
Once the kids have a stamp, they are to clean the floor.  And let me clarify--I mean CLEAN THE FLOOR.  I am super picky about a clean floor, and I train the kids early on in what I expect.  A few of the kids have special jobs like cleaning the library, putting book boxes away, or organizing the supply bins, but everyone else just gets on their hands and knees, picks up scraps, etc.  I used to think I had to yell and scream at the kids to get them to clean, but I realized that if you really train them, it's easy.  Sometimes I will challenge each kid to pick up 30 scraps--they will actually get super into it.  Okay, enough about my nazi-like floor expectations.

During this time, I will call out one table team number at a time to go to the coat rack and get their coats and backpacks.  This helps prevent a pile up and a shoving match--learned that one the hard way!  Once all teams have gotten coats and backpacks, I will turn the music up really loud as a signal that we are almost out of time, then gradually fade it out.  By the time the music has faded, kids are to be packed, ready, and sitting on top of their desks.  (Sometimes I will add a 20 second count down in there if they need more time.)  Sometimes I will have an entire team "clip up" for being cleaned up and ready to go on time.  Next, I will have my two "floor inspectors" (a classroom job) check the floor for scraps under each table and give them an "Okay!" or a "No Way!"  All teams must be cleared by the floor inspectors. :)
End of the Day Award--I tweaked these to make them "Super Star Awards" last year, but don't have the updated version on this computer.  You get the idea though!  I just print them on card stock, cut them out, and hand them out to kids at the end of the day.

LAST, we do our end of the day awards--a favorite classroom tradition.  Any student who has their clip on Outstanding, the top level of the clip chart, gets their name announced.  We all cheer and applaud, and they earn a "Superstar Award" and a PBIS ticket.   Once we are done and the bell is about to ring, I say, "Bring it in!" and we gather as a class for a closing "huddle."  I started this tradition when I had a sports theme one year, and just love it.  We all put our hands in the middle, and I say, "Team (my last name) on 3.  1, 2, 3!"  and the class raises their hands and shouts, "Team (my last name)!"  Just a fun little community building tradition.  I always have the class line up in number order by the door, then I walk them downstairs and to the outside door, giving them each a high-five on the way out.

That's a wrap!  Tell me about your End of the Day Routine--what works?


  1. Oh, Amy!
    This is the most difficult part of my day too! I think I'll try the music this year... Thanks for sharing your ideas...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Important question: HOW do you do all of this in ten minutes????

  3. I just love this post! I haven't figured out what works...every year it is a new mystery. I do tell my kids they can't leave without giving an H (a Hug, a Handshake, or a High Five).

    Chickadee Jubilee


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