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Old 06-09-2008, 10:13 AM
DaTeach's Avatar
DaTeach DaTeach is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 340
4th Grade Teacher
Cleanliness in the Classroom

I found threads on organizing and replacing materials used when done and things like that...but an area that I struggle with is the actual cleanliness of the classroom. The dusting, cleaning of desks, and sanitizing of the room. I am terrible with this. There is so much dust in my room.

What are your tips and materials used in keeping the classroom spic and span? I have to do all the cleaning except the sweeping, the desks never get moved, and an occasional mopping, if I request it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:17 AM
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Jem Jem is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,324
Northern CA
5th Grade
I have struggled with this, too. I tried to get some stuff for my site, but didn't find much:

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:22 AM
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DaTeach DaTeach is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 340
4th Grade Teacher
When I was packing up at a couple of weeks ago, some of the bottom shelves and underneath stuff had HUGE dust bunnies. I was so embarrassed. I have got to do better. So many students and I struggle with allergies and sinus problems.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:34 AM
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hescollin hescollin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,546
Move the student’s wastebasket away from your desk. Keep a small one under your desk for you to use.

Crack a window a tiny bit for fresh air.

Plants are wonderful. Philodendron, Spider Plants and Wondering Jew are easy to grow. There are plants that were tested by NASSAU for their ability to filter and clean indoor air of pollutants such as cigarette smoke and chemicals from off-gassing of new carpeting and furniture, as well as others. Ferns, peace plant, spider plant, mother-in-law's tongue (snake plant), corn plant, etc, are just a few.

Wash your hands often. Use anti-bacterial wipes or spray on the door knobs and wipe down student's desk everyday. Be sure and wipe their pencils. Put a bit of spray on their desk and give them a paper towel and let them clean before leaving each day.

Never use student’s pencils. Don't let students use your pencils or scissors.

Teach them to cough in their elbows, not on their hands.

Spray the room with Lysol.

Drink orange juice and green tea.

Get a flu shot.

Keep tissue box away from your desk. Never use tissue from the box that the students use.

GERMS--- sneeze and cough and about spreading germs. (Of course this is done in August when it's still hot!) I hold a misting bottle in my hand (they think I am taking care of the critters or plants) and start talking to them, suddenly I start sneezing and coughing. I squirt the misting bottle in the air as I do. I am walking around the room so I tag 'em all! I ask them what I should have done and of course they all yell "cover your mouth". So I "sneeze" and "cough" using the bottle in my hand. My hand gets soaking wet. I then walk around the room shaking hands, touching shoulders, pencils, desks, etc. They realize how far my "germs" spread. It leads to a really good discussion on how to prevent spreading germs.
GERMS-----Have the kids divide into three equal groups. Have one kid from each group come up and spray their hand with water then dip it into a bag of glitter. Have each of the three volunteers dip in three different colors. Then they go back to their group and shake hands with everyone in their group. Once you have done that have the kids inspect their own hands for "germs". Then coat the volunteers hand again and let all of the kids shake with kids from the other groups. You could give a limit of shaking with 7 kids or something. When they are done they should have a fairly good dose of "germs" on their hand. You can then go over proper hand washing techniques while they wash the "germs" away.

"Immunity diet". It consists of dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese (for the whey protein), lots of tomatoes (and substitute tomato soup for chicken noodle when you're sick), www.womenshealthmag.com if you're interested.

DO NOT touch your eyes and/or nose
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:44 AM
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DaTeach DaTeach is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 340
4th Grade Teacher
very informative...thanks! I had a lot of students to pick their nose this year even when I was looking at them. Do kids have no shame today? I told them that was something you do in private with a tissue. GROSS!
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:00 AM
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DaTeach DaTeach is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 340
4th Grade Teacher
What about a certain cleaning routine for dusting, etc? Does anyone have a routine that they stick too to maintain a clean room?
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:27 PM
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bonneb bonneb is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,531
Preschool Teacher
hahaha! What grade do you teach? My kids (1st) just pick, pick, pick. I have them go wash their hands. I used to try to be kind, now I just say "Fingers out of your nose/mouth." I think it is the age. I also encourage them to get a tissue, go to the bathroom, clean their noses, and wash their hands. Kinda fruitless!

My classroom is not an example of cleanliness. But, here is what I would like to do each day: wash/wipe down sink area and drinking fountain with Clorox; wipe down desks; take a broom and sweep in the hidden areas that the cleaners never get to - sweep those dust bunnies out into the center of the room; wipe down doorknob. Dust once a week, or assign this as a classroom job. You could actually have the kids do all these jobs if you would train them. I think that is the real ticket - train the kids to keep the classroom clean. Devote 15 minutes at the end of the day to cleaning up. If they get the jobs done, let them earn some free time on Fridays or something. My students LOVE to help clean the room and actually fight over jobs to be done!
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:34 PM
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dxiechicken41 dxiechicken41 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
5th Grade Teacher
My district permits us to use cleaning products. Once a week, I give a short talk about organization and then have them clean everything out of their desks and wipe their desktops & chairs w/ a Clorox Wipe. I have been sick only ONCE this year!
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:28 PM
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shouldbeasleep shouldbeasleep is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,416
intermediate grades
We cleaned this past year once a week. Every group had a small area of the classroom they were responsible for straightening and wiping down. It didn't take very long at all.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:38 PM
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MJH MJH is online now
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 119
2nd Grade Teacher
Student Responsiblity

My students are responsible in helping to keep the room clean. We take a few minutes at the end of each day to empty the trash cans at their tables, the trash cans are large plastic tumblers. They put their chairs up on the table and the helper gets out the swifter and cleans the floor and then it's on to the bissel for cleaning the carpet. We stop a few times during the day if I notice that they are being responsible with their materials. They are responsible for checking around their table throughout the day to make sure there is nothing on the floor and the helper checks the center materials when we have finished the center. Those students at the center must then go back and clean it up correctly. This routine worked with K students and my second graders even get excited about using the swifter and bissel.

On Friday's or the last school day of the week we do a bigger cleaning. Students wash their tables with soap and water and their chair. We have community supplies so we make sure that pencils are sharpen and that crayons, glue sticks and scissors are organized in their proper place. Several students get out the duster and dust the shelves and window sills.

Of course this means that my area needs to be kept clean and tidy at all times to set an example for the students. I have found that if my desk is messy then the students will be messy as well.
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classroom, cleanliness

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