The Pack Up Sign

Using a sign to get things done works like a charm.


 Raised voices call out across classrooms …

Ok everyone, it’s time to pack up.

123 eyes on me, time to pack up.

Pencils down everyone, Look at me! Put away your book, stack up the chairs, make sure the floor is clean and get your bags.

Hands on heads, it’s time to pack up!

Please pack up. Will you please stop working – it’s time to pack up!

Hurry up please the bell is about to go.

Are you helping to pack up?

 Does this sound familiar?

Packing up time is HARD WORK! There are those that do and those that don’t and those that take a long time.


Try This:

Use a sign.   Please pack up now. Thank you.

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A paper plate was handy in Alison’s Year 2 classroom so she wrote up an appropriate pack up message.

Walk around the room and show the sign to each student. Tap them on the shoulder if they haven’t noticed, show the sign, give them time to read it and move on.

No need to say anything.

If you are busy doing some final correcting give the Pack Up sign to one of the

students to take around the class room . Remind them to show every class member.

Use different ways to present the pack up message.



  • Students start packing up! It works like magic. The written word has more impact than your voice echoing around the room.
  • No more shouting, explaining or telling students it’s time to pack up.
  • You will not be so tired and strained at pack up time.
  • Students respond to the sign and do the thinking.


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Make permanent signs for your ‘pack up’ messages.

If you have ‘special instructions ‘ for your students at pack up time write them on the sign.



  • Write the instructions to pack up on the white board, mini white board, interactive screen or ipad.
  • Have prepared Pack Up signs, laminate and use as required.
  • Write a fun thing for the students to do when they have packed up, eg Stand behind your chair on one leg when you are ready, met me on the mat with a smile on your face, stand next to your chair, sit behind your chair, stand behind your chair with one hand on your head, sit on the mat with a partner and use your hands to show me a prime number …


Why Use a Pack Up Sign?

A great Pack Up sign made by TWAF team member Anne Mackelvie.

A great Pack Up sign made by TWAF team member Anne Mackelvie.

  • It’s easy to implement.
  • Students are given an opportunity to read for a real reason.
  • Students are reading what to do rather than listening to lots of instructions from you.
  • You are giving your voice a rest.