Silent Pack Up Has Saved My Sanity!

For years I have struggled with the end of the day pack up time. You know what I'm talking about....the gathering of backpacks, folders, papers, jackets, water bottles, lunch boxes....anything the little sweeties brought to school and need to take home for the day!

Each year I would try to make this time of day organized and fluid only to feel exhausted and frustrated after the kiddos left!

But I have found the solution.....Silent Pack Up!

My class is divided between 5 tables. Each table is numbered from 1-5. The lights are out and all the children are seated waiting for my signal to start. Each day a different table begins the packing process first IN COMPLETE SILENCE!

First, they head to their mailbox, gather their papers and their nightly folder. Then, they take these to their table spot and put any papers in their nightly folder. Next, they head over to gather their backpacks, lunches, etc. and take all these items to their table spot. Finally, they put all of their items in their backpacks, put up their chair, and wait for the next direction.

If they need to communicate with a friend it must be nonverbal. They may come and whisper a question to me if necessary.

We discuss self-control quite a bit throughout the year and this is a perfect opportunity for the children to practice being mindful on themselves.

Once we are all packed up, the children line up according to where they are headed after school. We leave feeling calm, confident, and ready of the remainder of the day.

How long does this really take you ask? At the beginning of the year.....15 minutes. By the end of the year we could do it in 7 minutes! The entire class of 6 year olds ready to go home in 7 minutes!

I love the end of the day now and no longer feel exhausted and frustrated.

How do you handle the end of the day packing with your class? I would love to hear from you!

1 comment

  1. I read a chapter book during pack up. As I read, I insert a child's name into a sentence. Whichever kids sit at that child's table silently follow our routine, "cubby, table, backpack, table." As a group finishes I insert another child's name until all of the tables are packed up. This is all done silently because they don't want to miss the story. They know that if they talk, my reading stops. It's been a lifesaver! And I'm sneaking in read aloud time!


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