There's probably nothing worse than packing up a classroom. It's the least fun, but necessary task of the school year (well, there's also the unpacking, but setting up your classroom can actually be fun). It's tedious, dusty, and simply put, annoying. Since I teach young students (roughly age 6), they are limited in what they can do to help in the classroom. However, this year I decided I would get my kiddos involved in the process. Boy, am I happy that I did.

     Here are some tips to get your students involved in the classroom clean up and pack up process:

1) Have students help clean all toys/materials. They can do this in groups. Here you see students cleaning (and happily, I might add) each and every block. This helps with your last days of school when students can taste summer vacation, but still have to be there. They LOVE the change up from their daily activities.
2) Student shared materials: If you are not keeping materials for the following year, and if your students have been sharing materials, get them to divide the materials. Specifically, crayons and colored pencils are the two items that need massive dividing. 
Here you can see students (there are four of them, but you only see 2 in the picture) dividing the colored pencils they use in their group. I let students choose how to divide them, but I suggest to them to start by a color, and each get one of that color. Then. move on to another color. This won't be perfect (there may be too many or too few of a color), but an imperfect system will call for them to work together to figure out those "bumps". 

3) Lastly, if you are boxing up materials, put one student in charge of a specific material and box. Even my six-year old students can do that! 

     Cleaning and packing a classroom isn't fun, but it's a necessity at the end of the school year. Don't do it alone! I'm not suggesting that you use valuable teaching time to do this, but I am suggesting that in that last day or two, when everyone's there waiting for the inevitable, put everyone to work. It's right and it's fair because it's a classroom used by a whole group: the teacher and students. 

How do you get your students involved in the clean up and pack up process? I'd love to hear about it.  


  1. Good ideas! Another thing I have them do is sort all the math manips and puzzles.

  1. I love that! Sorting is such an appropriate activity for them, and it really helps to organize things (something very necessary at the end of the year).

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