I start about 25 minutes before the dismissal bell rings. I begin by announcing that I am "looking for people who are ready to go home." This is students' cue to sit down, clear off their desk space, and look at me. Then, we have our 60-second clean up (I wrote in detail about that here), our 15-second box clean and our 15-second furniture straighten.
|This is an old picture. They also have POTW!|
Next, while some students are still writing in their planners, I have the kids who have classroom jobs begin. Now here is where it gets a *teeny* bit chaotic. Librarians are straightening up the library, while custodians are sweeping the floors or wiping off the whiteboard. Distributors and Table Captains are passing out homework, and President and VP are stamping the planners with the signature stamp. Most are organizing their stuff to go home (putting names on new homework sheets, getting things in backpack, etc...)
When the kids finish getting ready and have a clear desk, they join me on the rug and wait for the majority of the class. We then begin our read aloud. We read the story until the bell rings.
What I LOVE about this is that there is a built-in incentive to get ready for the day quickly: the read aloud. My students can not wait to hear the story and they want as much time as possible to be able to listen. So they clean up FAST! And since we are reading, it is calm, cool, and collected in my room at the end of the day.
What is your end-of-the-day routine? How do you combat the chaos?