Messy Desks?

For five years, I taught classes where the students changed every 45 - 90 minutes. I never really had problems with messy desks, so I couldn't really sympathize with my fellow "self contained" teachers. This year, however, I began teaching my very first self contained classroom.  I love it! You get to build much more close relationships with students and parents, you get to be much more flexible with scheduling, and you get to sit back and relax as those perfect students keep pristine, clean, organized desks!!!

Okay, you know I was stretching the truth on that last comment.


I remember at the beginning of the year, I didn't even think about a management tool for clean desks. I thought I would just remind the students every now and then to keep their desks organized.


After a million comments from students sounding very similar to:
"I can't find my paper in my desk.",
"Something smells funny in my desk.",
"I lost my pencil! It was just in my desk!"

I realized that keeping an organized desk was actually pretty important.  It is important for learning just as it is for cleanliness!  If you think about it, don't you work better when you are organized? Well, so do your students! The point is, as teachers, we need to motivate our students to keep an organized space.  This will not only teach them important skills they will need in the future, but it will also help with their every day learning activities.

After searching the internet, I found various classroom management techniques that motivated organized spaces. One of my favorite ideas is known as, "The Desk Fairy".  With this technique, you secretly award students with a letter or coupon from "The Desk Fairy" when you see they are keeping a clean space.

How you reward them with the coupon is up to you! I use a classroom management technique where I reward my students with "team points" throughout the week. At the end of the week, the winning team gets rewarded.  To motivate clean desks, I place a "Desk Fairy Coupon" in the most organized desks throughout the week.  This coupon awards each student a point for their teams. The love it, and I love how much improvement I have seen in their organization skills. I created my own Desk Fairy letters and coupons.  I have uploaded the free resource at my teacherspayteachers store.  I would love to share it with you!! You can download this resource below.

I hope this helps you and your students.

How you do motivate students to keep their desks clean?

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