Clean up procedures in the art room

It’s 5 minutes before the end of art class and you know what comes next: clean-up time. That little phrase always puts me in panic mode. Why? Because I don’t have a system. By the end of my class, the area by my sink usually looks something like the photo above. I’ve always been honest about this failing of mine. I like to create not clean! But lucky for you, I have good art teacher friends who do this clean-up thing really well. Here is a collection of sites to visit that will give you better tips than me!

Tips from Fellow Art Teachers

Karen at Mrs. Hansen’s Art Room has a great post on clean-up procedures.

Jessica at The Art of Education is a clean-up queen. I would love to see this gal in action. I think she might be everything I’m not: organized, structured and very clean! Thanks, Jessica for a great article on art teacher timesavers!

Jennifer over at Got Art has some great tips for art room clean up.

Okay, so even though I didn’t create this list, my Deep Space Sparkle’s Facebook page has readers chiming in to give their best tips for easy classroom clean-up.

Tips for Art Room Clean-up

Teach Kids Art refers to paper scraps on the floor as tickets. Read her post Many Hands Make Light Work.

Organizing your Art Room

If you want to go a step further and try to minimize clean-up problems, it’s a good idea to have a place for everything so that everything can go back to its place. The Incredible Art Department has a great post on organizing your art room.

Ms. Novaks at Organized Chaos has clean-up and organizing tips. Super woman!

Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room is gorgeous. I have a feeling that the kids who enter this room know exactly what to do when art time is over.

So now it’s your turn….what is your absolute best clean up tip for the art room?

9 comments

  1. Sarah F says:

    First, I teach the students how to put everything away the first month of school or so. Then, I play Greg Percy’s Clean Up song when there is about 5 minutes left. They must be totally cleaned up by the time it’s done. It works great! I also have my spots numbered at the tables so if we are doing something new that they don’t know how to clean up I can call, “#1′s bring me the _____”, #2′s put this here” etc. Or if it is not going well, I say, #3′s are in charge of scraps on the floor, etc, to give them direction.

  2. Amy Miller says:

    I assign jobs at the beginning of each class- glue, water, paint, brushes, drying rack, whatever. I have three groups identified by color (red, blue, yellow). I choose one person from each group to be in charge of that item for their color group for that day, both passing out and collecting. I write the jobs on the board and the student’s names under them. I play “Waka Waka” as my clean-up song. They love that song and know when I start playing that song that it’s clean up time and the student’s start doing their job and the others clean up their personal space first and then look around the classroom for cleaning up community space. I’ve also trained certain students in each class on how to wash out a paintbrush properly, and if needed, they do that job.

  3. Thanks, Patty for the props for my organization! :) As always, I love learning and sharing with everyone. You have some great links here, thanks for getting the conversation going. I am always amazed at the end of each class when somehow the room is miraculously clean, just to be messed up all over again! :) Ahh..the beauty of an art teacher.

  4. Ms. Novak says:

    Thanks for the link Patty! I always try and keep things as easy as possible when it comes to cleaning up – there is a fine line with having too many specific jobs to keep track of and letting it be a free for all. You have posted some great sites with some wonderful ideas!

  5. Jen Matott says:

    Thanks for the shout out! I am finding more ways to save time and clean up but sometimes the class is so focused and things are moving along so well that I get wrapped up and we are racing around cleaning up while the teacher is standing there waiting… not a good feeling! I think it’s a never ending battle! I did find a clean up song that is 4min. 30 secs long and it does the job! The kids move faster and the room is cleaner! I’ll post another article on it! THanks!

  6. Janis says:

    You know what’s really funny I had a parent one Parent’s night tell me the art room was too clean! I never forgot that comment and it was many years ago. I still say “a clean art room is a happy art room”. I’ve never posted my clean up procedures, maybe over the summer I should work on that:)

  7. adrianamedinah@hotmail.com says:

    How u do w palettes w tempera ???? If each class I have 25 children in elementary school ?

  8. Angela says:

    Where are the links for the clean-up ideas and what are the names of the songs that some of you have used? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>