bathrooms - pls help with a system

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sherri0318, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    I'm leaving a classroom with a bathroom in it to a room without one.....I've heard heard heard all the stories about how they play, write on walls, trash the bathrooms when they go by themselves or with a buddy.....

    can you share some of the ways you handle the bathroom trips - I figure I'll need a set schedule when I take them all, but then there's ALWAYS the ones who "didn't have to go THEN, but need to go 20 minutes later".....
     
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  3. ms_teacher

    ms_teacher Companion

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    I'm fifth grade. In my class only one person is allowed out a time, boy or girl, doesn't matter... only one person at a time. They must sign in & out in the book. That way if something happens in the bathroom or hall, we can narrow down who it is by looking at who was out of the room.

    They cannot go to the b-room during instructional time. When they want to go, they will give me a signal (this year we used a raised fist) and then I will signal to them yes or no...

    This worked well for us.
     
  4. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I like the book idea! That ia great way to document how often they are leaving the room!

    I'm in a trailer, so my kiddos have to go with a partner. We take several breaks and go as a whole class, so that helps a bit.
     
  5. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    do you ever take them as a whole class? If so, how often?
     
  6. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    We go as a group twice a day - once after related arts and once after lunch. Instead of washing hands, we use hand sanitizer. I have found that this is faster and prevents a mess from water and paper towels.

    If a student needs to go to the bathroom during class, they raise their thumb and I signal back to them yes or no. They may not go when I am in the middle of a lesson.

    If this gets gets out of hand (going too often, etc.) I will announce that if you need to leave the room to go to the restroom, you must be willing to pull a card and miss 5 minutes of recess or silent lunch. This really cuts down on abusing bathroom priviledges.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jun 28, 2008

    I like the sign-out book and sanitizer ideas, but how do you afford sanitizer all year? Do you buy it at Sam's Club or something?

    Also, I'd like to ask abut something I've always struggled with. At my school, we're not allowed to pop our heads into the bathrooms if kids get noisy. Aside from assigning monitors, does anyone have ideas for keeping down he noise and goofing off? I always feel helpless when I can't go in and deal with problems.
     
  8. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    I've not been in the situation yet - this year will be my first experience with the "down the hall" bathroom - but I plan to do the monitors and then have a punishment ready to go for anyone they tell me was "goofing off" or being too loud. 5 minutes off recess, "think about it" sheet to take home and sign, pull a behavior stick, lose tokens (for teachers who do the "earn a token/ticket/money" management system), etc....

    Why don't you want to assign monitors? As long as it's a trustworthy student, you can't go wrong - they LOVE the responsibility and they LOVE telling on someone!!! ;)
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oh, I'll assign monitors for sure, I was wondering what else I might try.
     
  10. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    We go to the rr three times a day as a class, and I let them go from 7:30-8:00 one at a time. I don't usually allow them to go at another other time unless it is an extreme emergency. We had so many problems with the rr last year. I assign a girl and boy monitor weekly. They check the rr before and after we use them, and inform me on who is misbehaving in the rr. I also let them keep water bottles at their desk, but I let them know to take sips because they won't do the in and out rr thing all day. It takes them a while to get accustomed to going on a schedule so I allow them to go when they need to the first few weeks of school. Of course I'm lucky if I get to go once during the day. :D Thank goodness for my teacher bladder.
     
  11. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    when we go as a whole class I only let four girls and 4 boys in at a time. I can pretty much figure out who they are from their voices if have to and having only as many kids as there are stalls helps with the off task behavior.
     
  12. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    My kids have 3 clothespins. When they go, they take a clothespin, put it on the girls or boys basket, go and when they return, they put the clothespin into the basket. At the end of the day, a student helper puts all of the "used" clothespins back onto the chain that hangs by the door. If they use all three, they also get a "freebie" in the morning and after lunch. It works really well and it doesn't interrupt learning.
     
  13. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    If this is a problem, it needs to be handled by teachers/admin right away. I expect my students to behave or they have a consequence. Bathroom procedures/expecations/rules need to be part of the beginning of the year teaching and on-going reinforcement.
     
  14. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I have a sign out sheet with their name, time they left, and time they returned. I also have a small digital clock next to the clipboard so that they write the correct time. Only two people (1 boy and 1 girl) are allowed to go out at a time. I also take my students to use the bathroom once half-way thru the morning and right before lunch to wash and use the rr if needed. I don't personally like to use bathroom monitors because it creates a negative image for the person who "tells". I stand outside the bathroom door and take minutes away from all the boys or all the girls since I can't tell who's talking. I normally have to only take a minute away before they stop. If it continues, I can always ask who's making the noises and they are quick to tell knowing that if they don't I'll take more minutes away. Peer pressure works well in this case.

    Those students who play or create messes aren't allowed to go. If they have an emergency, I send them down to the office where they can use the nurse’s bathroom. It's inconvenient and the office staff aren't very nice about it.
     
  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I take my kiddos 3 times a day. I don't let them go at any other time, unless it's an emergency. I then tell them that I will flip their card, I've found that if they really have to go they're willing to have their card flipped.

    Once I explain it to parents they understand.
     
  16. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I started setting the timer and subtracting time spent in rr from recess time. This cut down on a lot of not having to use the rr, but wanting to leave the room.
     
  17. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    I stress that they need to go on their time..before school, recess, lunch and after school. There was a boy who needed to go often b/c of a medical issue, so he would just get up and leave whenever. But he was super responsible and didn't get up while I was teaching. If they need to go, we also have a silent sign, and they have to move their clip down (clothespin system) unless it's an emergency. And I got really good at spotting a real emergency.

    It worked. They trained themselves after the first few months.
     
  18. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    I use a sign out sheet by the door. There are certain times durring the day they can go without asking.... before the morning bell, 5 minutes transition time, lunch and recess. Only one boy or girl out at a time. They cannot go during readers workshop unless they want to miss recess time or quick note in their planner that they used reading time to go.

    Last year was the first group I had that made a game of trying to go when they didn't need to. They would say it's an emergency but upon watching them walk down the hall, they took a slow stroll looking at all the bulletin boards and washing their hands twice. I don't mind the washing hands but I did take time off for the slow walk.

    I have to keep similar means with my team so, it would be a good idea to see what the others on your team is doing.
     
  19. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    My system is hold to fingers in the air and then I acknowledge with a nod. If it's an emergency, they waive two fingers vigorously, then I know. There are always bathroom abusers. I make them sign out and they can only go twice a day am and pm and during lunch. Others who never abuse it can go any time. My pet peeve is when I'm teaching math. Otherwise, I'm okay with it. After a while kiddos wanted to get drinks without asking and it drove me nuts. So it's one finger for a drink with a nod from me. This system worked great all year and I was never interrupted.
     
  20. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I also send only one person at a time. In one classroom I had a sign out system and they took a "hall pass" which was a giant sized bottle of purell with my name on it. This was in a rough school and sometimes my students were getting jumped in the bathroom! Knowing the time they left was really important.

    In another class each kid had a tag. I had two hooks by the door (very small hooks) and a little basket with boys tags and girls tags. If they left the room for any reason, they put up a tag. One boy and one girl were allowed out of the room at once. I never really had problems with misbehavior then.

    At my current school, if they have to go to the bathroom, they make the ASL sign for toilet. I let one kid go at a time. We don't have vandalism in the bathrooms, but they do YELL and SCREAM in there. If I am in our adult bathroom I can hear right into the boys room through the vent. Sometimes I have to go knock loudly on the door and tell them to cool it. This kind of thing mostly happens if I send a bunch of kids at once to change their clothes into a costume (if we do a play) or a swimsuit (once a year.)
     
  21. StickyNotes

    StickyNotes Companion

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    I give the students 5 tickets a week. The tickets are for drinks or bathroom breaks. They can use them throughout the week. If they have to go they hand me their ticket (after they ask with a signal) with their name on the back and I tear it. At the end of the week I collect tickets of any that weren't used and have a drawing for pencils and such. This way those who go at recess and the times they are supposed to go don't waste their tickets and get a prize.
     
  22. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Waterless hand sanitizer is on our school supply list!:)
     
  23. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    I really want to thank all of you for sharing all your ideas about the bathroom - I've been able to put some ideas together, and here's what I've come up with so far.....

    I'm going to take them 2-3 times a day (as my schedule permits - I'll be at a new school and i don't know what my daily schedule will be like yet) if they have to go beyond that I'm going to take off time from their recess (same day or following day if recess has already happened).

    I figure this will also keep them from "playing" and "taking their time"....I'll determine how long a "normal" bathroom trip should be, then any time over that will come off their recess!

    I'm just stuck on figuring out how to keep track of the time they are gone, because I don't trust them to write the correct time on a bathroom log!!! ;)

    Any ideas on that?
     
  24. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    My way is a bit controversial I suppose. In first grade, I start by taking the students to the bathroom 3 times a day as a group. Once mid-morning, once before lunch, and once a little after lunch. By December, we go only twice: mid-morning and then a little after lunch. I don't like taking them right away after lunch because I want their food to digest a bit.

    Here's where I'm going to receive some opposition. :p If they need to go to the bathroom again OUTSIDE of those times, I make them change their color. I'm also going to have them sign their names on a sign-out list this year, so I can track how many times they go. The reason I have my students change their colors is to help cut down on students who really don't NEED to go to the bathroom. You know, the ones that are just trying to escape from class. For the most part, I silently move their colors up one at the end of the day anyway, if they did not take advantage of the situation. It just helps me weed them out.

    I do like the idea of a sign-out sheet. Perhaps I'll even find a pattern. :)
     
  25. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I try not to let the kids leave the room during instructional time, so when they do go alone I'm usually working with a small group, and can keep track of who's left the room. This year I wore a stop watch, and whenever someone had an "emergency" I'd start the time, and they would let me know when they returned (they knew it was being deducted from their recess time). I don't bother with sign out sheets. That is too much for me to have to police. They were honest enough to keep track of their own recess time. Believe me when they didn't I always had someone who did. :lol:
     
  26. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    I do the same thing with flipping cards! :D
     
  27. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    This is how I do it as well. They also have a pass that goes on their desk so other students know looking to the board if there is someone gone.
     
  28. kkuchtah

    kkuchtah Rookie

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    I gave them time during our switching time but they were not allowed out other wise or if it was a must. They were to go before they came to class - we went as a class when we got back from rotation and then they were allowed to go before they came in from another class. After they asked me once and got the hint that I was not backing down they quit. I could usually tell if it was a must or not.
     
  29. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I try to do my telling time unit early in the year. I found out last year that they eventually forgot how to tell time or were just too lazy to do it. So I got sneaky. ;) I created a clip board and sign out sheet that had to be signed and the correct time had to be written down for each time out. the kids were allowed two times out per day no matter what they were doing out and if it was more than that they owed me recess time. I found that they got better at reading the clock and signed out less often! ha!
     
  30. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    I used a sign out sheet when I had two girls who made a game of seeing who could go to the bathroom the most. Then when I talked to their mothers, I had the evidence right there in their own handwriting (one mother had said her daughter should be able to go to the bathroom whenever she needed to - when she saw how often she was leaving the room, she changed her tune). I asked each mother to talk to her daughter about this and the problem stopped.
     
  31. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    I do the same thing, but with clip moving. :)
     
  32. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    Thanks so much for the "stopwatch" idea!!! I was trying to figure out something that would be simple and like you said - not something I have to constantly "police"......and you are SO right about "there's always SOMEONE who's keeping track of someone else's business!!!" lol
     
  33. mrsarbogast

    mrsarbogast Rookie

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    My students are not allowed to go to the restroom during direct instructional time either. Until about mid-year, they would ask with the pass in hand I would nod yes, and they would go. This worked OK until they started to abuse privilege and some were going out 10 or so (no lie) times a day. Finally, I added a restroom/drink monitor to my jobs. The students were allowed 3 restroom breaks and 2 water breaks a day. These were documented by the monitor on a daily sheet. When they were "out of" these trips and would still need to go (very rare) I took recess time. The ones that really needed to GO were willing to give it up.

    This worked well for me and I will continue with the same system this year.

    Adding that students also had opportunity to use the restroom and get drinks before school, before lunch, after lunch/recess, before music and PE, and at the end of the day. The other "visits" to the restroom were during classwork or literacy station times. HTH
     
  34. lightfello

    lightfello New Member

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    I teach 1st grade and I make each student their own bathroom pass. Just an index card with their name on it. They can use it one time during the day at anytime. But once it's on my desk, they can't have it back till the next morning. If they really have to go again after that, they have to move their clip down on our behavior chart. It works well and the few that try to abuse it really think twice when they are going to miss a recess or have me call their parent because they moved their clip down.
     

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