• 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.

Getting Started

  • 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."

Clean-Up Time

  • 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.