I use a song to dismiss my students. I constantly have music playing in my classroom and the students know the cue to clean up for dismissal. This takes a lot of practice, but is quite impressive when the students can do it. I use a Raffi CD and play Day-O. In this time, the students should pack up their backpacks, stack their chairs, pick up the floor surrounding their area, then be seated quietly on the rug. In the meantime, team leaders are sharpening pencils for the next day and two other students are cleaning tables. It takes a LOT of practice, but when the routine is set, the students can get all accomplished by the end of the song. As students gather to the carpet, I play a word game or something with them and then we reflect on our day before we are dismissed--everyone shares a little.