Wrap Up the School Year: Cleaning and Preparing for Fall

Many of you are now wrapping up your school year before the summer holidays. Congratulations to you all for a successful year! Perhaps you’re feeling a little drained after a long school year? You’re most likely daydreaming about your upcoming summer fun, and time to relax with family and friends. The last thing on your mind is cleaning and storing your classroom materials and thinking about next year!  But that’s exactly what you should be thinking about. (Read until the end of this post to find a 15% OFF coupon code)

If you make a plan, it won’t seem so overwhelming. Here are a few key things to consider when cleaning at the end of the school year – before you make your summer getaway.

A complete Primary Montessori classroom (2½ to 6 years old), with all the required Montessori materials should take 2 adults approximately 3 days to clean. This would include all of the materials (wooden, laminated cards, containers, etc.), tables, chairs, shelves, cubbies, snack area, etc.

What do you need to complete this process of cleaning and storing?

  • Wash basins (easier to clean the materials at each shelf, rather than transporting all materials to the sink)
  • cloths (to wash and to dry)
  • scrub brushes
  • liquid cleaning solution
  • hot water
  • rubber dish-washing gloves (for sensitive hands)

It’s important to disinfect everything in your classroom. Even though you’ve been wiping your shelves and dusting throughout the school year, there is an accumulation of grime and germs on every card, container, and piece of material. Washing everything is  the last thing you really want to do, but it must be done at the end of every school year. And bear in mind, it will make it that much easier to start your next school year after your summer fun is over.

Obviously, you won’t be able to clean cards and labels that are not laminated, but the containers that hold them need to thoroughly cleaned. So how do you clean the multitude of laminated cards in your classroom?

  1. Prepare a liquid disinfectant solution of your choice.
  2. Lay a large, clean, dry cloth on a table.
  3. Using a cleaning cloth, wet it with your cleaning solution and wring it out very well.
  4. Wipe the front of a card clean with the wet cleaning cloth.
  5. Flip the card over and lay it on the dry cloth.
  6. Wipe the backside of the card.
  7. Continue for all cards.
  8. Clean the container.
  9. Allow sufficient time for the cards to dry or wipe with the dry cloth.

As you clean the materials, you should be checking to make sure you have all the pieces for each lesson. Be sure to count your color bead bars, golden beads, square chain labels (free download) and cube chain labels, skittles, etc., for math. Do you have your smallest pink cube for the Pink Tower (and a spare, because we all know that smallest pink cube is so darn cute and sometimes mysteriously disappears, only to reappear a few days later)? Are you missing language cards, picture cards, farm animals, fabric swatches, or stamps for the Stamp Game? How about Stamp Game Paper (free download)? Do you have all your Nomenclature and black-line masters? It’s so important to leave every lesson clean and complete.

As you work your way through the cleaning process, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the success of the materials and lessons that you have in your classroom. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do the materials meet the needs of the children?
  • Are there areas that are lacking materials (language, culture, and geography are usual)?
  • Do you have returning students that are prepared for more in-depth materials that you don’t have?
  • Are there new concepts you would like to introduce to the children next year?
  • Do you have all your required Administrative Records and Forms?

So you have lots of things to think about during your days of cleaning! The process is so much more enjoyable with another adult helping out. Volunteer parents are helpful for cleaning practical life dishes, shelves, tables, chairs, etc. But it’s always best to have a trained Teacher/Directress and/or an Assistant clean the materials, as they are familiar with the full contents of each lesson. Add in some music, conversation, and laughs about moments during the school year, and the time will pass quickly.

When you figure out what materials you’re missing, or what lessons you’d like to add to your classroom, use this Coupon Code: MAY2015 to SAVE 15% OFF materials in our online store. Coupon code is valid May 11 to May 20, 2015.


Goodbye 2010 ….. Hello 2011!

Goodbye 2010

One of the things I enjoy about winter in Canada is the dark cold nights. I enjoy sitting by the fire, lighting the kerosene lamps and some candles, and relaxing. It allows my mind to wander through the events of the day, to replay the time spent with family and friends, and to daydream about what the next few days, weeks, and months hold. Here is a small taste of our month of December 2010.

lanterns Fire

We spent time each night all through Advent for prayers; learning to relate passages and readings to our daily life and become more aware of our daily blessings.
We put our tree up early in December and enjoyed a family night of decorating and then played board games for hours (Monopoly is definitely our favorite!). 

We enjoyed an incredible meal of seafood on Christmas day – thanks to my husband. He’s fantastic in the kitchen (when he gets the time) and this year he did most of the holiday cooking. Yes, I’m truly
blessed! Unfortunately the battery in my camera was too low and I wasn’t able to take a picture of the seafood cooked. But here’s a portion of what we ate on Christmas day before we cooked it. 

We decided to give to others more this year than we ever have – both personally and professionally. Our children picked out and paid for gifts from World Vision to give to needy communities throughout the world. We sent our sponsored child and her family in Ecuador some Christmas goodies, extra love, and prayers. We participated in food drives, Christmas hampers, donated money to a Home for Teen Moms in Haiti (see this post, and as of today $8,625 has been donated!). And we hosted the “12 Days of Giveaways” here on our blog.

Giving feels wonderful. Giving time, money, possessions, giving your heart. My children have learned that the process can be difficult at times, even a little painful (physically, mentally, and financially). But in the end, it just feels wonderful.

Hello 2011!

We’re so excited about this new year coming. We’ll be celebrating 7 years of business! We have lots of new Montessori materials on the way, a huge New Year Giveaway planned, lower prices, smaller CD Rom Collections, new Freebies, coupons and all kinds of fun!  You’ll have to be patient for the first batch of new materials and the Jan Sale items … they won’t be listed until Jan 4th.

A great big huge Thank You to every one of you who have helped to promote Montessori Print Shop this past year. Your support has helped us to reach so many new families who are trying to use Montessori materials to educate their children. Your blogs are truly inspiring and the kindness you’ve extended to us is at times overwhelming.

From myself and my family – We wish you all the greatest peace and health for 2011.