End-of-the-school-year sanity routines are vital.
In our elementary school we pack everything up in the classroom so that the maintenance crew can strip and wax the floors over the summer. That means the six-foot tables in my art room have to be stacked against the wall. I have seven of those tables in my room. A few years back I lucked into a end-of-year routine that keeps my sanity, is fun for the kids and guarantees I have clean table tops when I come back the following school year.
I have an inside Bubble Day. This requires a trip to Walmart to buy four giant containers of bubble liquid, hundreds of straws and plastic cups. My treat, because I love the effect it has on the kids. Both exciting and calming at the same time.
- You must be sitting to blow bubbles.
- Bubble stuff can go on the table, but not on the floor; too slippery.
- Don’t blow bubbles directly into someone’s eyes. It stings.
- If you bubble up all your bubbles, you are out. No refills.
- End of the class all straws go in the trash, all cups go back on the counter, wipe down your table with paper towels at the end of class.
So here’s how it goes. The kids blow bubbles in the air for about two minutes until someone realizes that if you blow into the cup it will bubble over the lip of the cup and onto the table. Sort of like when you blow bubbles into you milk glass when you are having milk and cookies. Viola! Instant clean tables. Children combine straws in a bubble to make the largest bubble. Shouts of “Look, Mrs. Strandberg, Look!” fill the room. They progress from blowing bubbles into swishing their hands around on the table top and writing letters in the bubbly film on the table. Fun stuff.
The art room smells like soap. Clean tables. Clean hands. Happy kids. Happy teacher.