Tools for preserving order and cleanliness in the center

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Guillermo 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    Hello everyone

    Does anyone know where to find tools and practices used in ALCs to have cleanliness and order in the center?





    Hi Guillermo,

    I’m not sure there are any tools and practices that will magically instill cleanliness and order in at an ALC, unless I’m misunderstanding your questions.

    Are you saying you’re having trouble getting students to participate in cleaning up? Or are you asking about tools for making visible what cleaning needs to get done?

    Can you extrapolate a bit?

    I hear @becka is working with you all now — that’s great! Maybe she can weigh in on this and has more context for the issue you’re looking to address.



    Hey Tomis

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am looking for ways to make cleaning and ordering fun and easy for kids.

    Yes! Rebecka is going to be helping us implement the tools and other things. We talked about this topic and came up with some ideas.

    On another topic, Rebecka told me that you have a database in Trello and google docs about many topics concerning a ALC. Could you give me access to this?




    Great. Glad Rebecka is there working with you all 🙂

    We are planning to redesign ALC Membership (and member benefits) in early 2017. To this point, we’ve reserved the full access to all our documents on Google Drive to folks who have been through and ALF Summer training experience with us. We may wind up creating different folders with different resources moving forward, but I’m not exactly sure how that should all shake out. Either way, with your relationship with Rebecka, you shouldn’t be missing too much at this point.


    Josh Johnson


    I hope this is helpful.  At my schools I’ve had success with giving ownership, or stewardship of spaces to students.  Unpacking this a little, it means they have both authority over and responsibility for a space.  Perhaps they are in charge of the art room.  They decide how it’s organized (with input from other stakeholders, hopefully) and are responsible for keeping it organized.  Perhaps they also hold people accountable for not cleaning up after their own projects, or have the power to temporarily ban people for irresponsible use.  Ultimately, though, the state of the art room is their responsibility and if they don’t hold it to community standards then the responsibility passes to someone else.  We also experimented with extrinsic rewards in the form of salaries associated with the size and complexity of each space.  This was very motivating for a few months, but it dropped off some.  Extrinsic rewards are always a delicate thing and their power always fades.  The real goal would be to build their sense of pride in a job well done.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’d really advocate the extrinsic reward system.  Classroom currencies have a long and muddy history 🙂

    The coupling of authority and responsibility, though is a powerful concept that works well with folks of all ages.  Make it truly theirs!

    Also, make it as easy as possible.  Supplies should we well stocked, tools should be high quality and well organized.  Also, setting aside specific cleaning time has worked well in my experience.  Children live so much in the moment that remembering to take time to clean won’t occur to them.  We used 20 minutes at the end of each day to vacuum, mop, straighten, wipe tables, tidy, organize, and refill empty supplies.  It’s amazing what a group of focused kids can do in a short time!



    Hello Josh

    Thanks for your reply, it is really helpfull. Yes, I think that in the long run what will work is that sense of ownership for a space. We will try to implement this to see how it will work. I agree also that we should try to avoid external rewards because we don´t want to fall into conditioning.

    Have a good day


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