- Post a "Materials Chart" itemizing everything students will need.
- Set out and organize these materials in advance on a Materials Table.
- Designate a "getter"-a student who goes to the Materials Table for anything his or her group will need.
- Provide lunch trays or other containers for your class getters to use to carry back a group's materials.
- Appoint a "clean-up leader" for each team, to assign clean-up tasks.
- Distribute written instructions before students start working.
- Review the instructions with students, and allow time for questions.
- Establish a signal for students to use if they want your assistance. For example, glue a life-sized cardboard hand, or a large question mark, to a craft stick and distribute one to each group for kids to raise.
- Use a signal to inform students when you need their immediate attention. My personal preference is the magic word "Salame," which stands for "Stop and Look At Me."
- Warn students five minutes (or more) before it's time to stop.
- Post a chart listing chores clean-up leaders need to assign.
- Ask students to show that they have finished cleaning by quietly looking back over the notes they made during the experiment, and to clarify them as needed.