Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Gotta Go to the Bathroom!: Managing Bathroom Breaks in the Classroom



It's inevitable! At some point in your day, multiple kids are going to want to go to the bathroom during class time... there's just no getting out of it! It took me a couple of school years to find a bathroom system that has worked for me, and I'm happy to pass it along!

In my classroom, I have a one boy and one girl in the bathroom at a time policy.When sending multiple kids to the bathroom without a teacher nearby, problems arise! Whether it's splashing each other with water, crawling under stalls, or just goofing off, kids like to use bathroom time as a chance to play with their friends. I can't say only sending one boy and one girl at a time to the bathroom alleviates this problem, but in my experience, it helps a lot!  


When the classroom is busy with excitement, it can be hard to remember how many kids you've sent to the restroom, let alone who you sent to the restroom. I wanted a way to make remembering who is in the bathroom a little easier (teachers have to remember enough as it is!). 



I bought two rubber duckies at a local grocery store; one in blue and one in pink. The duckies have a nice little home at the front of the classroom that is in clear view of myself and the students. When I send a student to the bathroom, they simply grab a duck (pink for girls, blue for boys) and place it on their desk. When the student gets back from the restroom, they return the duck. Students know that another student can't go to the bathroom until the ducks have been returned. 


This system is great! It allows me to quickly glance at students desks to remind myself who I just let use the bathroom, AND I get less students asking me if they can go to the bathroom at the same time! Win, Win! When I introduced the bathroom management system to my second graders, they took to it right away! It only took a couple of days before the bathroom procedure was smooth sailing. 



What is your classroom's bathroom procedure?


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