Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Magic is in the Air

Do you ever have a hard time getting your children to clean the room at the end of the day?  Well, those days are over!  Magic Piece of Trash and Magic Chair are your new best friends.  I TOTALLY forgot about this excellent trick until my student teacher called out for a magic piece of trash the other day (she found the idea on another blog).  I had been doing this trick for YEARS (I learned it from one of my high school teachers back in the 90s...ugh, that hurts to even say that....90s) and somehow it just got lost in all the other good ideas I have found over the years...but don't worry...It's baaaaaaack!  :)  Here's how you do it:
1.  Scan the room for trash.  When I say scan...I mean scan the WHOLE room (or your sneaky kids will see where you are looking and always know where to go).
2.  Call out to the students, "I see a magic piece of trash."
3.  Students scramble around (safely of course) and collect all the trash they can.
4.  Once all the trash has been picked up, you announce to everyone that the magic piece of trash has been found.  Call the child's name and have them pick a piece of candy, healthy snack, homework pass, DOJO points, whatever it is that you reward your kids with.  
You will be amazed just how exciting it is to pick up trash!!  This can also be done with stacking chairs at the end of the day.  My kids love it! You can be as honest or dishonest as you'd like to be when picking the winner of the magic piece of trash or chair.  I always find this a good time to reward my little friends that don't get rewarded very often academically.  :)  It works for kids of all ages (remember...me as a high-schooler in the 90s used to scramble for that darned piece of trash). 

Clean on.


  1. One of my favorite tricks!! Sometimes I'll give a clorox wipe, and the student who brings me the dirtiest wipe wins a prize!

  2. That is a great trick - one I will be sure to use tomorrow! Since our classrooms only get cleaned 2 times a week, my kids really need to help pick up the slack. Thanks for the tip!


  3. This is great! My kids love playing "Magic Trash", but I've never tried "Magic Chair". I'll definitely do that soon. I love it when I can say -- "The magic piece was . . . the . . . dirty band-aid, and they all groan and sigh wishing they had picked it up. :)


    I Want to be a Super Teacher

  4. Girl, I read this blog and totally (ahem) stole your idea!! I had never heard of this before! Let me tell you...you were so spot on! My kids LOVE it!! My room is clean in like 3 minutes! Every chair is stacked, every single piece of trash is picked up, and their are no crayons or pencils on the floor! YES!! They especially love it because I give the winners the primo candy! Hey, they're leaving for the day...a little chocolate pick me up is ok, right??

    Mimi ROCKS! :-)

    Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

    1. LOL! You are supposed to steal the idea! :) It is the greatest trick! I'm glad it worked! And yes, a chocolate pick me up is FINE! I wish I had one right now. LOL

  5. Love this idea! I will have to try this next week. My reluctant trash picker-uppers might be motivated by this idea.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. This is better than my mean way of making mine clean up. I make them bring me 3 pieces of trash before they can leave the room. This way, they might look forward to it :)


    Fun in Room 4B