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Children are going to be children, and children often leave a mess. If they pick up
the mess they make, all is well, but, realistically, they do not clean up automatically.
Indeed, a teacher can spend quite some time seeing to it that scraps and papers
are picked up, books are not leR behind under desks, and that surfaces are free of
gramti, telephone numbers and messages written in assorted markers. You can
spend a lot of time .trying to keep your classroom clean.
One teacher solved the problem by initiating a system of desk and rows monitors.
Figure 1-12 shows the responsibilities each student has. This sheet was given to each
monitor in order that full responsibilities would be clearly understood.
Before the period begins, pre-monitors check the conditionof their rows and
the desktops in their rows. If they find anything amiss, they report it to the row
or desk monitor who records it for later reference.
When the class ends, the row and desk monitors do their check. If they find
something on the floor or under a desk, they politely ask the student to pick it up;
if they find writing on a desk that wasn't there at the beginning, they ask the
student to remove it. When the class leaves the room, that room is clean and
waiting for the next group.
If a student refuses to obey a monitor, he or she is reported to the teacher, who
must handle each case individually according to that teacher's knowledge of the
student involved.
Once this system has been established and reinforced, the students just accept
it as another part of the classroom routine, and there is very little trouble from it.
For upper elementary and middle school, this works really well.
This is an activity that will save you a great deal of time while actually
improving the atmosphere of your classroom. You literally have the time from bell
to bell to teach, without having to supervise tossed paper or messy desks. It instills
good habits in your students, and it frees you to concentrate on your teaching.
ROW - Before class begins, check your row for cleanliness
PRE-MONITORS: and report anything unusual to the Row Monitor.
DESK Before class begins, check the desktops i n your
PRE-MONITORS: row for cleanliness and report anything unusual to
the Desk Monitor.
ROW MONITORS: Check your row at the end of every class; look
under each desk; politely ask students to pick up
any refuse near or under their desks; if the row i s
not t o your satisfaction, report it t o the teacher.
DESK MONITORS: Check the desktops i n your row at the end of each
class for writing, drawing, andlor marks of any kind;
politely ask the student to remove the marks; if the
desktops are not to your satisfaction, report i t to the
CHECKER: Check everything before and after class.
Figure 1 - 12
Cleanliness Task Sheet
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