I definitely use the clean up song. I also have a labeled spot for supplies to help direct the students where the manipulatives go. My files are overloaded - have been thinking of moving everything to notebooks - seems way easier to find things! Thanks for the tips! :)
I love the music idea! Thanks for the great reminders, I'm already starting to think about changes for next year. I've done the labeling and still answer questions all year about where things go! My favorite is that I have a bright yellow bin labeled "Finished Work" and I was still being asked in June, "Um...I'm done with this. Where does it go?" My favorite technique is different sounds for different reasons. I use a clicker (got it at the pet supply store) and double click to signal time to line up. I use chimes for clean up. I use a triangle to call them to morning meeting. This way I don't have to try and speak over the noise of the classroom but the point gets across quickly. I am going to integrate songs, too, so that once I ring the chimes I'll start a song and students should be cleaned up by the end of it. Thanks!