Classroom management, classroom environment, and classroom games are not something that I thought went together. I had once thought that only Mary Poppins could get children excited about cleaning. Then I met my mentor teacher, Lynn Price. She taught me the most amazing way to get children excited to clean the classroom at the end of the day everyday. I have tried this activity with Kindergartners and 5th graders alike and have found it works like magic (no sugar required).
Classroom Games: Magic scrap
Materials needed: a messy classroom, a small prize such as a pencil, sticker, or mini eraser
How to play:
- First, silently select an item in the room that is needing to be picked up. This can be items such as a chair that needs to be pushed in or a crayon on the floor.
- Call the class to attention and inform them that there is a piece of “magic scrap” somewhere in the classroom.
- Inform the class that the “magic scrap” might be:
- an object out of place
- cubbies with papers that need to be taken home
- Or ANYTHING else you want students to clean up
- Who ever finds it and successfully puts it in its place is the winner.
- Students must walk and work quietly, or you may not see who gets the magic scrap and no prize will be awarded.
- Tell students they can begin.
- Stand back and watch in amazement!
- When someone has picked up and put away the “magic scrap” correctly you can announce the end of the game. Then award the prize with as much fanfare as you wish.
It is super easy, and works like a charm.
Tips for better classroom games play:
Sometimes students will bring things over to me and ask if it is the “magic scrap.” My answer always is, if it is you had better put it away correctly or you can’t earn the prize.
Even if the scrap is found right away don’t call an end to the game until the room is cleaned enough for you.
Sometimes I get distracted and don’t see who picked up the magic scrap. When that happens, I announce the winner as someone who was working hard at cleaning and hasn’t won in a while. (They never know…shhhh)
Do you use classroom games to manage your classroom?
I would LOVE to hear about it! Please share in the comments below and tell a friend. The more we share the more fun we can have!