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When transitioning to choice, material management can seem overwhelming. Without some help and an early start, it’s easy to get caught with a big mess on your hands at the end of the year.
Tackling cleanup in a choice classroom all at one time can seem like an unimaginable task. If your choice classroom has a variety of media available, begin to roll choices back as the year comes to a close.
Here are 6 specific tips for how to close centers smoothly.
Students feel more ownership over a choice studio if they take part in its upkeep. During the last few class periods, create studio-care stations where students can help you pack up or prep for the next year. Play some music or an art movie, and don’t forget to invite parent volunteers in to help with more difficult tasks.
Students especially love cutting, washing, testing materials, and organizing! Make sure to give kids concrete examples of how you want the job done.
Here are some tasks students can take on in each center:
Many hands make light work! Make sure to bill this cleanup in the most exciting way possible so students feel pumped to help out. Even the most apathetic students can find some fun in being given responsibility and a novel task.
Running a choice classroom can often mean becoming a bit of a hoarder. Recycled materials can begin to take over your life. The end of the year is a great time to start fresh and let go of some of those extra boxes of stuff you haven’t used in five years.
Time is your most useful commodity as an art teacher, so don’t be too precious with things. If you can’t find a specific use for it or organizing it is going to take too much of your time, donate it or dump it! Need motivation? Watch for a special resource coming in June to help you let go of some excess stuff you’ve been holding on to!
Having a choice classroom shouldn’t burn you out or overwhelm you – at least not 100% of the time! By starting early, getting some help, and keeping it simple, you can feel better equipped to walk out the door on the last day!
How do you wrap up your choice art room at the end of the year?
What’s your biggest tip for end of the year cleanup?