Pack Up Time Made Easier


Do you feel frustrated and a little strung out when asking students to pack up? There’s the between sessions in room pack up, the get ready to go to specialists pack up, the home time pack up and the I want the room tidy pack up.
What generally happens when you tell students to pack up? Noise levels immediately rise, some students begin, some wander and some keep working.

You repeat your instructions, sometimes louder because you want it to happen now!

It can take ages to get everyone packed up and ready. The floor is littered with stuff, chairs are all over the place, books left lying around. You are feeling annoyed and want just everyone to pack up quietly and efficiently.
Try This: 

Write on your white board or type on your interactive screen exactly what you want done.

List the instructions.

  • Put away your books
  • Leave only your pencil cases on your table
  • Pick up 10 pieces of litter from the floor and bin them or collect 7 things that need putting away
  • I will know you are ready because you will be standing behind your chair (0r sitting in your Optimal Learning Spot on the floor)
  • I am beginning the next session at (add in a time). 

Write down everything you want the students to do. I have found this an easy and very effective practise in every year level. Students response to the written word is quick, efficient and the job gets done.What happens?

There will always be students who observe you writing up the instructions. They will quietly begin. Others notice and very quickly everyone gets busy.
Your role – move around quietly praising students who are getting the job done. Thanks for your great organisation  I like the way you are getting organised. I noticed you were one of the first to get started, great observation skills. 
Providing a bit of praise related to skills shown by your students works wonders, great for building self esteem. 
Next, stand in your chosen teaching area or sit on your chair demonstrating with your body language that you are ready to begin.

Tip: Look around for students who are ready and silently say,’ Thank you’  or call out their name and thank them.

  • Pack up time becomes a reading instruction activity.
  • Noise levels recede.
  • Everything you wanted done gets done.
  • You feel in control by giving students personal control via the written instructions. 


– Any student not packing up, beckon them to the instructions, and point. No need to say anything.
– Before starting your next session thank everyone.
 – Use a ready made Pack Up sign on occasions to vary the process.
– Play calm music during the pack up.

Tip for Parents:
If you want jobs done at home provide a list. Children will respond and happily complete tasks from a list. Leave a pen handy so they can cross off the jobs as they are completed. At the end of the list write – Come and see me when you are finished to collect a hug and a thank you. 

Never ever continue with a classroom management practise that wears you down and wears you out.

Always seek out alternative ideas.

Your well-being is a number one priority throughout a school year.

Remember, Teaching with a Feather strategies are not only designed to stretch students independent thinking, they are also designed to foster teacher well-being.