Did you read that title? Do you think I’m crazy yet?! Seriously, one of the most important things that I do before leaving for winter break is to CLEAN. One year my students made ornaments with cookie sprinkles and I was finding sticky sprinkles for months – not really something that you want to do when Christmas is over.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that staying to clean my classroom was always the last thing I wanted to do, but it always made coming back to school after break so much easier. The decorations were already put away, all the party frosting was cleaned off the tables, and that peppermint play dough was no where to be found – I learned to throw that out before leaving after coming back to smelly, moldy play dough!
I try to spread my cleaning out across the week before break so that I don’t have to do it all the last night before leaving. Start with any decorations that won’t be missed, and send home finished artwork as soon as it is dry. I also start putting away any activity centers or stations that won’t be used much this week, and I make sure to put other items away as soon as we are done using them.
I love to have our holiday party a couple of days before we are actually finished, this gives me time to clean up afterwards. If that isn’t possible I keep the decorations to a minimum and spend extra time afterwards cleaning tables and making sure the floors are neat.
I know that this isn’t the most exciting topic, but I promise it makes a huge difference!