Before starting any practical design and technology work, I assign responsibilities to selected pupils. For example, after I have demonstrated how to carry out a practical activity I ask a few of those pupils I call "energetic" (the ones whose liveliness needs a bit of managing) to take complete responsibility for safely returning to the correct place in the appropriate storage area or cupboard any hand tools, scissors, drill bits, and so on. By doing this I impose a clear sense of responsibility on the pupil. Amazingly, the chosen pupil will often ensure that the rest of the class return the used tools to the correct place and in good time before the end of the lesson.
Following this simple tip saves me having to chase up and check on equipment everywhere in the room. It also give those responsible a sense of pride in a job well done, and they will also have less time to fool around at the end of a lesson. However, I still check that the correct quantity of tools have been returned, just in case the helpfulness isn't matched by the numeracy.
Ged Parr, design technology teacher, Windsor Boys' School, Windsor amp; Maidenhead