End-of-the-Day Routine

Nothing mindblowing today but I just wanted to share with you my end-of-the-day clean-up routine.  I know that sometimes this time of day can be completely chaotic, but I have tried my best to cut down on that and have us end with calm.  Here is what I do.

I start about 25 minutes before the dismissal bell rings.  I begin by announcing that I am "looking for people who are ready to go home."  This is students' cue to sit down, clear off their desk space, and look at me.  Then, we have our 60-second clean up (I wrote in detail about that here), our 15-second box clean and our 15-second furniture straighten.

This is an old picture.  They also have POTW!
Then, I ask the kids to take out their planner and we go over the homework.  I have the assignment written on the board, and used to just have them copy it down, but I have found that if I *also* say it aloud, the kids have a higher rate of writing it in their planner and not missing any homework assignments.   So I orally go over the assignments.

Next, while some students are still writing in their planners, I have the kids who have classroom jobs begin.  Now here is where it gets a *teeny* bit chaotic.  Librarians are straightening up the library, while custodians are sweeping the floors or wiping off the whiteboard.  Distributors and Table Captains are passing out homework, and President and VP are stamping the planners with the signature stamp.  Most are organizing their stuff to go home (putting names on new homework sheets, getting things in backpack, etc...)

When the kids finish getting ready and have a clear desk, they join me on the rug and wait for the majority of the class.  We then begin our read aloud.  We read the story until the bell rings.

What I LOVE about this is that there is a built-in incentive to get ready for the day quickly:  the read aloud.  My students can not wait to hear the story and they want as much time as possible to be able to listen.  So they clean up FAST!  And since we are reading, it is calm, cool, and collected in my room at the end of the day.

What is your end-of-the-day routine?  How do you combat the chaos?


  1. I love your end of the day routine. You're right that it's a chaotic time, but you seem to have found a way around that - I'm impressed and like your ideas! I think I'll try this end of the day read aloud myself,

  2. I love the idea of using a read aloud for an incentive to get the kids cleaned up quickly. I will definitely be trying this tomorrow!
    The Traveling Teacher

  3. I never thought to do a read aloud after cleaning up--what a fantastic idea!! Thank you so much Stephanie!

  4. I love your routine. Like you, my goal is a calm transition. We end the day with outdoor recess. I really dislike this, but it can't be helped due to scheduling, etc. If I ever have the chance, I'll try to end with a read-aloud like you are - I try to hit mine (Lives of Scientists, Our Carbon Footprint, etc.) just before lunch.

  5. I usually play some sort of song (most often "Yakety Yak," sometimes "The Final Countdown" or the theme from "Mission Impossible" or "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye") as the kids do their classroom jobs. I noticed that they were often forgetting to take care of their personal clean-up before their classroom jobs, so I just gave your 60-second countdown a try! I didn't want to have to count down aloud every time, so I used QuickTime to make a recording of my voice and on online timer (I found this one with people racing to a finish line) that I could just play on the big screen as students cleaned up. After the 60-second desk clean-up, I would then play a song and students would do their classroom job, get their coats/backpacks/lunchboxes, and meet in a circle at the carpet by the time the song was over for our Closing Meeting. It's motivating, because kids give each other compliments and special kinds of cheers at our Closing Meeting, which they LOVE! Thanks for the great ideas!!! :)



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