Bathroom Breaks!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MrsHoot, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I had an issue with students using the bathroom at inappropriate times throughout the day. In the beginning of the year we took restroom breaks as a whole class. After we got rolling, students were to use the restroom right away in the morning, before lunch, after lunch and recess, before or after specials. Other than that- emergencies only. Well "emergencies" was what got abused. I had one who always wanted to go to play, so he could only go during certain times. I hesitate not letting them go because I dont want any accidents!

    What are your potty policies?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2012

    Can you give each student one morning and one afternoon pass a day? Maybe throw in one emergency pass a week.

    I explain times when they are allowed to use the restroom and times when the aren't.
     
  4. Ilovesummer

    Ilovesummer Companion

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I have my 2nd graders put their name on a list when they go to the bathroom. If someone seems like they are asking all the time to go to the bathroom, I tell them, "go look and see how many times your name is on the list first." It can help them realize just how many times they've gone that day, and if an issue comes up, I have proof that yes, they really did leave the room 5 times to go to the bathroom that day. :confused:
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I'm "lucky" in that I have a bathroom in my classroom. I still have to take the entire class to the restrooms (in a 4 minute time frame) between lunch and enrichment (specials). The enrichment teachers will not take students nor allow them to go to the restrooms by themselves, because usually the ones who holler that they need to go are the same ones who are caught playing or climbing the stalls. I had the same problem with students (a) tying up our classroom bathroom for 20-30 minutes at a time (b) having "emergencies" 7-8 times per day (c) creating a huge mess in our bathroom. Last year was the worst! Finally, I began writing their number (all my students have a number) on the board after their 2nd bathroom trip (not including after lunch), and making a check mark next to it for each additional trip. If a student had to "go" too many times after that, I would call the parent and suggest a doctor visit because of the number of times his/her child needed to potty. Also, I assigned a "bathroom monitor," whose job it was to ensure that the person who just left the bathroom flushed the toilet and left it "clean enough for me or your mom to use it." I wish I had begun these actions much earlier in the year, because it helped a lot!
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jun 30, 2012

    In grade 1 I let them go when they ask, as long as I am not giving instructions. The risk of accidents is too high. Could you imagine someone saying you couldn't go use the bathroom??? I know if I really have to go inbetween breaks I can get someone to watch my class.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 30, 2012

    Here is what I do: My kids sit in groups and earn points as they work well together, help and encourage each other, etc. These points go toward free time on Friday (they literally live for these points!). When they need to leave the classroom for bathroom or water, I take a point off of their group. They usually won't go unless it's an emergency. I don't like them to leave if I am speaking, but I will let them go if it's an emergency. You would be surprised how well this works. I will ask, "Is this an emergency?" When it isn't, they say, "No, I can wait". They really don't want to lose the point unless they have to.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I never want to be the teacher that does not allow a student to use the restroom. Next year though I am going to keep a log and make sure to show the parents of struggling students how much time they spend out of my room during class. If they want to speak to their children about it then that's up to them.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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  10. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I like that iteachbx! I :love: pinterest.

    We have an exit log for leaving our room, but I had a few kids who abused the bathroom privileges this year. I need to try to change it up a bit for this upcoming year.
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 1, 2012

    I did a sign out log, but it was really a waste of paper and I stopped using it around February or so. I'm going to use the clip thing for regular bathroom breaks and emergencies this year.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I like the idea of that chart, but I'm not sure I like the idea of it hanging on the wall for everyone to see. Trying to think of a way to monitor it a little more discreetly...

    I like the idea of only having the abusers do a sign-out.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'll be having a sign-out next year. A few of the "darlings" who will be in my class have a history of spending too much time out of the classroom for drink and washroom breaks and for getting into trouble when they are out of the room. We'll need a record of when everyone is in and out of the room.
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Have you defined "emergency?" I find that blatantly telling them that an emergency means you will wet your pants if you do not go immediately solves the problem. That way if it is a true emergency they will ask and can go, but the thought that their peers think they are on the verge of having an accident tends to eliminate the social trips.

    My general rule is, "Do not ask during direct instruction, small group or read aloud." Otherwise they are free to go. If a child goes more than twice a day (in addition to our scheduled trips) I usually call home and mention it. Some kids do need to use it a lot and the parents always know that, but others are taking advantage and a quick check in helps.

    I also recommend you think about the students who are asking to go a lot. It may mean that they truly need a break. Try to schedule in an errand for them. For example, I had 2 "wiggly" boys so I assigned them the task of bringing the lunchboxes to the cafe about 60 minutes into the day. They needed the walk and it was a productive break.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 2, 2012

    This is a really good point. Try to mentally note when they are asking and how frequently. It may be that they just need a break from what they are doing. Try to have other breaks planned into your lessons to minimize this.
     
  16. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2012

    I had one in the restroom constantly. Of course, he told mom I was lying! So, for two days I kept a log of when he went and how long he was gone. I used a timer to time how long he was gone. I had him write his name next to the log entry every time he went. Fortunately, he did not realize what I was up to at this point. I invited him and his parents in for a conference. When the parents saw he was in the bathroom for over an hour each day (on top of our regular visits) they almost died!!! Mom even apologized for thinking I was lying. The problem was solved. A little time consuming, but ultimately worth every minute.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 2, 2012

    I have a sign out sheet. I teach kids when are 'apprpriate times' to use the BR. I generally don't have problems. If a kid uses the bathroom A LOT, I'll notice and ask if they are feeling well as 'I'm worried' that they might be sick because they are using the BR so much.
     
  18. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I use the following procedure: a child puts his number stick in the water bottle, signs out in the notebook, and places a stuffed mascot on his desk before going to the restroom. The notebook is school policy- I wouldn't use it if I didn't have to. The sticks get emptied after lunch and at the end of the day. So students can go once in the morning, once in the afternoon. Of course they can go during recess or lunch and during specialist. The stuffed animals serve two purposes- I can easily see who is out of the room (very helpful during fire drills or lockdowns!) and it limits bathroom trips to 1 boy and 1 girl at a time. I do allow for emergencies, but teach and often remind the class what constitutes an emergency and which times are acceptable
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    How old are your students? Seems like a lot of work!
     
  20. Kinderfriend

    Kinderfriend Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2012

    I absolutely loved what you did Curiouscat. You has signed and dated proof that this child was abusing their bathroom.

    The bathroom situation is very sticky. Thank you for the strategies .
     
  21. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Second grade and it works very well for us.

    It takes a good explanation and lots of practice the first week, but after about a month, it's nearly seamless...sign, stick, stuffed animal...three easy steps =)
     
  22. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jul 5, 2012

    Thanks for all of the insight! I had one in particular that would abuse, and he was a special circumstance. I like having the idea of the sticks- once in the morning and afternoon ( or that clipboard pinterest idea).

    I think I just need to be more clear of my expectations on when it is appropriate for students to use the restroom.

    For example...do you let them go during readers workshop time (not mini lesson)?
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Because we have a bathroom in our classroom, my kiddos can go anytime during small group rotations except when they are at the teacher table. Unless they are "players," lol
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 6, 2012

    At first I started with the rule that they could go any time except during instruction (on the rug or small group.) But then it seemed EVERYONE wanted to take a break during independent reading. I hated students getting up in the middle of a 15-20 minute reading block to use the bathroom. So the rule became that they could not go during independent reading. If someone asked to go as they went back to their seats they could go before they actually started reading.

    Towards the very end of the year the students got into the habit of knowing the best times to ask to go were transition times. I'm not a fan of any work being interrupted for bathroom breaks (unless its an emergency but I'm dealing with older kids.) Examples: transitioning into the room after lunch/special, during pack up, transitioning back to seats after a lesson, transitioning to the rug for share time, etc.
     
  25. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I let them go any time that I am not giving directions or teaching new material. They start off at the beginning of the year going more, but the novelty soon wears off =)
     
  26. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2012

    Before my Daily 5 time I lead a group activity at the carpet - usually something math or ELA related. Throughout that activity I give each student an opportunity to go use the washroom. They know it's their one and only chance to go before Daily 5 starts. No one can go once we start Daily 5. By the end of the year I fazed out the scheduled bathroom break, and no one asked to go.
     

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