Teachers love a spotless classroom but that doesn’t mean that can only be achieved through constant cleaning by the teacher. There’s a huge secret to achieving a spotless classroom and it requires little to no effort!
The Typical (and NORMAL) Classroom
First of all, if you have a classroom that tends to slowly get destroyed throughout the day, this is normal. Let me repeat. This is normal. So often teachers are seeing classroom pictures on blogs and Pinterest that appear to never have a piece of anything out of place. This can cause feelings of inadequacies and self doubt. Please don’t do this to yourself.
Don’t Put This On Yourself
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that my first couple years of teaching were spent stressing about always wanting to look like I had it together. I wanted my classroom to appear that I had everything under control and my students were trained to perfectly execute routines. This meant that I was constantly picking up and arranging my classroom so it was neat, clean, and organized at all times. I’m sure you can guess this but this was stressful! This is no way to be. Then I had an epiphany.
After about two years of spending my time constantly cleaning, I decided it was time to place this on my students. After all, they were the ones that were making the mess. This is when “mystery scrap” became a thing!
How It Works
When the classroom starts to look messy and you have a spare two minutes, this is what you do. Tell your students the following directions.
“Boys and girls, right now we are going to play a game called Mystery Scrap. I am going to secretly choose one scrap of paper in our classroom. I am going to set the timer for two minutes and when I say go you are going to start picking up the scraps you see on the floor. Whoever picks up the mystery scrap is going to be the winner and earn a brag tag. (If you don’t do brag tags in your classroom, you can always choose a different reward.) Are you ready to play?”
Watch The Magic Happen
Yes, magic. Those students immediately scatter and clean up the classroom faster than you’ve ever seen in your entire life. It’s truly magical. Best of all, students will ASK to play the game again the next day. #winning You can now look forward to endless days of a spotless classroom. You’re welcome!
Feel free to save this idea and pin it to your Pinterest board.