Math = Love: End of Year Clean Up: Brilliance and Insanity

Saturday, July 19, 2014

End of Year Clean Up: Brilliance and Insanity

These pictures are from May.  Yes, I realize it is now July.  School starts back way too soon.

This post is proof of both my brilliance and my insanity.  :)

Brilliant move: have students help with end of school year clean-up.  Our last day of school was crazy.  First off, it was a half-day.  And a third or so of that half-day included our all-school Awards Assembly.  On the morning of the awards assembly, I got a call from my principal asking me to make hundreds of awards for the assembly.  On the day of the assembly.  Talk about stressful!

Luckily, I'd already written a to do list on the board of tasks that needed to get done.  While I was busy printing awards, my students got to work on the list.  I didn't even have to ask them.  Honestly, I think they were bored out of their minds and glad to have something to do.

End of School To Do List
This next picture shows both the nicely stacked desks and my moment of insanity.  On our last teacher work day of the year, I decided it would be smart to take EVERYTHING out of my black storage cabinet and set it on the floor.

Here's the cabinet minus everything but my colored paper.  That stuff is heavy and a pain to move!

Most of the stuff was pretty easy to put up.  But, there's always those things that you don't know quite what to do with.  For example, where should I store my leis from our Hawaiian themed spirit day?  Or my fly swatters for the fly swatter game?  As soon as I throw out the old ice cream bucket, I will find something I could have done with it.  This was the point where I really started dreading my decision to pull everything out of my cabinet at once!

The final results was nice!  I don't think my cabinet has ever been quite this organized.

Of course, after this, I decided to change how I stored my paper which led to even more re-arranging.  I posted about my new solution to colored paper storage here.  

I post this as a reminder to myself.  Getting students to help with classroom chores = good.  Deciding to take everything out of your storage cabinet at once = stupid.  

Side note: In just two short years of teaching, I've accumulated a TON of stuff.  Whenever I decide to move, it's going to be crazy.  


  1. Love the list of things tow do and the way your students just jumped in and helped out. One of my goals for the coming year is to delegate more/give more responsibility to students for tasks in the classroom.

  2. Our last week of school is like that - the kids are so bored. We have about 3 of the last 5 days filled with activities, but even those days have time where they just sit in a room (usually the beginning/end of the day and around lunch time). This year I was determined to be at a point that last week where I could get them to help. Nothing had to be forced - some kids didn't want to help and that was fine. Other kids were bored and glad for something to do. It was fantastic to have so much help!

  3. Deciding to take everything out of your storage cabinet at once = stupid.

    For perspective, this past week I spent four days helping our new high school shop teacher empty then reassemble the wood shop tool room. He climbed up on a ladder and removed every old project and broken tool stored above head level, then looked up part numbers to identify what the heck some of it was (mostly parts for tools they no longer had of course). We walked around with a cart and collected every tool, wood scrap, and operators manual in the facility, then sorted and/or tossed. We tossed 12 60 gallon bins of junk! Fortunately we had another helper who spent the entire time cleaning files, collecting part and serial numbers, and photographing everything bigger than a hammer. Trust me, better every year or 2 then wait 20!