End of day chaos...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by **Mrs.A**, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I hate the end of the day...It just seems so chaotic and I'm not sure how to go about changing it. I would love to hear how everyone handles the end of the day in their classroom. How much time do you give the students to get ready to go?

    This is what we do.. about 10 minutes before the dismissal I have the kids write in their agendas, pass out important papers to go home, get their backpacks and pack up. I think I need to go to 15 minutes so the classroom jobs can get done. It feels so rushed with 10 minutes and 15 minutes seems like too much time.

    My room is calm all day long and then all heck breaks loose at the end of the day..:(
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I give the job of stamping agendas (if they are correctly filled out, children receive a homework stamp) to two students. It is their duty to make sure each child has done this correctly. Once a child's agenda is stamped, he/she may go to their locker. If it's not correctly filled out, that student must rewrite his agenda correctly and wait to be stamped again. The stampers do one table at a time based on who is the quietest and whose area is cleaned up. Let me tell you, letting them patrol each other like this keeps them perfect angels! Once they're in the hall, so is the rest of the school and it's noisy but not chaotic. We walk out of the building as a class. The line leaders must get everyone in their line by the lockers or we don't leave.
    I've found that with many "teacher" directives, it's easier to let the kids do it because they take their jobs very seriously and others know if they don't respect the orders given by the person who is doing the job, they will one day possibly face the same disrespect when they have to do the job.
     
  4. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 8, 2009

    Maybe you could set a timer and tell them how much time they have to pack up...then, have them seated while you do either a read aloud or a quick review of the day's outcomes.
     
  5. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 8, 2009

    Forgot to say (and you probably already know this!) that the most important thing is to teach what you want, model it, practice it, and enforce it :) After a few weeks of the same thing and not letting up, hopefully the routine will work!
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Our dismissal times vary each day (based on when the busses arrive.) We are the last stop for the busses, so they are frequently quite late. But then all of the sudden, they'll be on time and surprise you. What I do is have my student pack everything up a bit early and then hang their coat and bookbag on the back of their chair for the last 10 minutes of so of class. I always teach something then that will keep their attention, but not require any materials (no pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.) I do a review game, or read aloud, or something else related to the curriculum. This way, the parents who come early (which drives me crazy!) aren't such a distraction. The child isn't running around trying to get packed up and asking me for a handout, etc.

    It just makes the end of the day calmer and less hectic. Since I can't control when the busses arrive, I just make do with what I can control.
     
  7. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I get them packing up 15 minutes before dismissal starts. (In the winter they REALLY need that long!) As soon as everyone is packed up, we play a game whole class or go over to the carpet for a story. I read until the first student is dismissed. At the beginning of the year we go to the carpet (they leave their things at their seats), they sit by bus name so it is easy for me to see who needs to leave when and we talk about their day or sing a new song or I read a story. That way the hustle and bustle of packing up is over by the time they need to be quiet in order to hear the dismissal announcements.
     
  8. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I'm going to have my students copy down their homework when they come back from lunch/recess so that the end of the day goes smoothly and this allows the students to simmer down from recess.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I have no advice because this is really a weak area for me. Every single year, no matter what I try I have not been successful at this. We are always running late getting out the door no matter how early we start. My kids just get crazy. I would love to do a read-aloud or some activity with them, but I'm trying to pass out folders, work, homework, etc. And then there's always an issue to deal with-someone can't find their folder or left juice from breakfast in their backpack and it's spilled all over. :dizzy:

    I'm curious to read the other responses.
     
  10. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2009

    For the past two years, I have had this same problem. Calm all day... then the last 10 minutes comes.

    I am planning on rearranging my schedule this year. The last two years, I did DEAR right after lunch to settle the kids down.

    This year, I am going to start Science or Social Studies right after lunch and go until 20 minutes before the bell. Students will write down all HW in their planners, clean up floors, and do DEAR while I come around and stamp planners for incomplete homework and discipline issues.

    I have hesitated to do this in the past because DEAR should really be modeled by the teacher! It is my last resort to keep it calm until the bell.
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I'm trying to figure this out, too. We have specials at the end of the day, and then come back to the room 15 minutes before dismissal. (At the beginning of the year, we move specials 5 minutes earlier to get a little extra time at the end of the day). That should be enough time to do planners and backpacks, right? I will actually be in the room and they'll be brought back to me, so I think I'll have them come in and fill out their planners. Then they will bring their planner to me to initial, and then they can pack their backpack. We'll meet back in their seats for closing prayer before we leave. If we have a little extra time, we can play a quick game, sing a song, or I'll read aloud.

    I'm hoping to eventually have students in charge of checking planners, but I think that I will need to do it to start--it's their first year using them.
     
  12. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    In the beginning, it takes me a llloong time to do dismissal. Granted - I am first grade - but I am sure it might take everyone a little longer. You might wanna do it before specials that first week. Then, when they do it exactly as you want, move it to after and it will be plenty of time. I don't know...just my opinion!
     
  13. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I have end of the day specials too. I am going to have the kids pack and pick up prior to going to specials. Then when we get back from specials we will do a read aloud or closing circle and not worry about "end of the day". If I do it earlier, I am hoping because it's not the end of the day yet, that it will be calmer because it's still kind of early. It will also help me view the day as "over" and I will prep for the next day instead of fiddling away my time thinking about what we need to do when they get back or picking up the room.
     
  14. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    That is exactly what I do. I love having specials at the end of the day. I feel like I get a head start on planning for the next day. It does mean that I have to go by my mailbox during lunch though so my kids can pass out papers before specials.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I think packing up before specials is a good idea. I hate being rushed at the end of the day. Except for the "last minute notices" that come from the office that have to be sent home that very day, I hand out all papers and notices first thing in the morning or right after lunch.

    It is also hard that I have my coat hooks in "layers" -- so 5 hooks are on the bottom -- then 6 are staggered about a foot above those -- then 5more about a foot above that. For that reason, I HAVE to call my kids up to get their coats and bookbags in small groups based on which layer their stuff is on. I can't assign hooks, because the first people in the morning have to use the lowest hooks. Otherwise, you have to take other people's stuff off their hooks to get to yours. It is a huge pain when a parent comes to get their child early and their child's bookbag and coat is on the very bottom!! I warn parents about that right up front and tell them if they are going to come early, allow plenty of time -- or better yet, send a note so I can plan ahead and have your child ready when you come!

    I prefer to send students over by table -- but I have to send them over by layer. The only time a problem comes up is that you always hve one child who seems to forget what layer...and then theirs is in the way for the next group. I just teach the kids to take that person's bag off and walk it over to them.

    It is also a problem when I have more than 17 students, because then I don't have a hook for each. I have to teach the last ones (the top layer) how to double hook their bookbags so they won't fall and so the closet doors will close. I close the closet doors because it serves as a reminder that you don't go back into your bookbag (you get everything out first thing in the morning) and because it keeps those kids with sticky fingers away from other people's property. THe doors are really old and metal, and heavy, and only an adult can get them open.
     
  16. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I have the two helpers of the day pass out backpacks to everyone (once the year gets going) because I don't use my coat closet. It's not big enough for 22 backpacks (and coats for the 2 cold days we get a year). I have a girls backpack basket and a boys basket. They are two laundry baskets. It keeps their stuff out of the way. The only time it is a hassle is when one kid has to leave early. Then he has to dig for his bag. My coat closet has turned into an additional storage closet for me:D
     
  17. 49erteacher

    49erteacher Rookie

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    During summer school, I did something that I really liked. I stopped class 15 minutes before the end of school for clean up. When everything was done, we did BINGO (vocabulary or multiplication). They were more anxious to finish, because they wanted to play, so they got it done quickly. When they took their time, they didn't get to play.
     
  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I used to use tubs for bookbags in another room I had -- it had no hooks at all -- but then we got fussed at about not putting coats in tubs because of lice. I may think about putting the bookbags back into tubs and just leave the coats on the hooks. It sure would make it easier to get to coats at recess time. I'm just not sure if I have room for the tubs in the this particular room. Everything is already a tight fit.
     
  19. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Oh yeah - lice! Lol - how could I forget after the epidemic we had this year? Lol. It was before our 2 days of winter though. I guess that is the good thing about living on the sun down here.
     
  20. LAH2

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I have my students copy down their homework as soon as they come back from their afternoon specials so that they are not rushed at the end of the day. Then they only need about 5 minutes to get packed up to go home at the end of the day. I call each table or group one at a time, they go get their papers from their mailboxes, then get their bookbags and coats, and then they go sit on the front rug to wait to be dimissed. It seems to work well because there aren't too many kids at the mailboxes or the coat closet at the same time.
     
  21. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Can ANY of this stuff be done earlier in the day? For example, pass out the papers at a different time, or have them write in their agendas at a different time?

    Getting even one thing out of the way earlier might be helpful.

    This year, I plan on putting to-go-home papers in their Monday folders earlier in the day, just so that mess is out of the way.
     
  22. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I do the same things that a lot of you do (have a student stamp agendas etc).

    I have started having my students play quiet ball. We only get to play if everyone is packed and quiet. Basically, they get to throw a squishy ball to each other (the thrower calls the catchers name). If the catcher drops the ball, the thrower has to sit back down. They all sit on the top of their desk, and one student is the police who walks around and monitors talkers and anyone not playing correctly. My kids LOVE it, and hate it when they don't get to play. You can hear a pin drop most of the time.
     
  23. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

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    I do planners first thing in the morning and then they get put in their backpacks. I teach primary and don't do any homework except reading everyday.

    At the end of the day I will ask them to clean up, hand in their work, get their stuff and line up. When in line we sing songs, do fast facts and skip counting. The kids get ready really quick so they can participate. Since it's already a little noisey with the kids in line, it doesn't bother me.

    When the bell goes they wave bye and out the door they go.
     
  24. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    At the end of the day, after all of the students pack up, we have "appreciation time". Students say, "I appreciate so and so because...." I have a tree on a bulletin board, and I write down the names of the appreciated students on leaf cut outs. The appreciator then gets to staple that leaf onto the tree.

    Students love to appreciate other people, and will hurry to finish getting ready in order to do so. I let them know that I choose only the quiet and quick students. It really builds up class rapport to do this, and only takes a few minutes each day. It is also a great motivator in getting students to pack up quickly and quietly.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 10, 2009

    You sound exactly like me. The wonderful world of kindergarten!

    It seems like as soon as you start getting ready to go, they just go nuts. It's like a switch goes off or something...
     
  26. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Wow! What a great idea! What grade is this? How many students get a turn each day? If someone says Susie, and then the next person says Susie too- does Susie get two leaves put up? Could you explain more, I am really interested in this? Thanks!
     
  27. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Generally, I've allowed 10 minutes for pack-up and dismissal, and that seemed enough for 1st grade. If we were running late, we walked a little more quickly than normal down the hallway to the buses - if we were a bit early, we read a story, did a quick review or shared something about our day with each other. (Or cleaned the classroom - they loved to do it and it was amazing how clean it can become in 1 minute with 25 little helpers!) However, I LOVE the idea about the appreciation tree; I'd love to hear more about it as well.

    This year, I'm not sure what my schedule looks like so I'll have to figure out my dismissal plan after we receive our schedule. Last year my class had specials the last hour of the day, so we packed up before specials and they took everything with them; they were dismissed to the buses from their specials class.

    I have to admit this is one of my weaker areas - I'd like to work on it and have it be more orderly and efficient, but by the last 10 minutes of the day I'm usually willing to put up with a little more chaos and noise than usual because I know the end is coming soon!
     
  28. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I've used it with 3rd grade, but I intend to use it this year as well (I have not been informed as to what grade level I will be teaching yet). I think it will work well for any grade level.

    I try to give everyone who raises their hand a turn to appreciate someone. But it all depends on how much time we have left at the end of the day. Susie can only be appreciated one time per day. I also find it helps to generate a list of things to appreciate on chart paper and hang it on a wall, so that students will say more than just, "I appreciate Susie because she played with me at recess". We brainstorm all of the things we can appreciate about someone, and it works out so well. I will hear students during the day say excitedly, "I'm going to appreciate you for that!"

    One thing I do to make sure everyone is included and the popular kids are not overrepresented on the tree is I write down the name of each person in the class on a leaf ahead of time. I let the class know that tomorrow, we will focus on appreciating the following people, and name those who did not get appreciated (usually the unpopular, hard to like kids). Everybody is then on the lookout for something good these kids do. If a student remains unappreciated by the class, I will then come up with something to say and put the name on the tree.

    This is a variation of what we do at my house - we use a "special" plate for a different member of the family each night, and whoever has the plate is entitled to a compliment from other family members. It's funny - everybody looks forward to having the special plate.
     
  29. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I had a much better day today.. We stopped working at 2:40 and I had a chat with my students.. I asked for their input on how we can make things run smoother at the end of the day. This is what we came up with...

    I hired an agenda monitor to go around and check student agendas..Once a student gets a stamp of approval, they go to the closet to get their backpack and lunch bag. Then, they have to go right back to their seats, pack their stuff and sit quietly. Once everyone packed up and sitting, we used the extra time to do a Mad Lib. I was thinking that would also be a great time to read a fun poem. I also assigned buddies for my two students with Autism to help them organize their homework folders and pack up.

    I gave them 15 minutes to get everything done, which I can probably cut back to 10 min later in the year. The day ended on a more positive note!! :D
     
  30. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Didn't read any posts, so excuse me if I'm repeating someone, but how about for the last five to several minutes of each day, have it be a mellow experience by playing soft music while the kids clean up around their seats, put things in their backpacks to take home, sit back down, & wait for you to dismiss them. Then, turn off the music when everyone's sitting again & dismiss them however you dismiss them. BUT, WHILE THAT MUSIC'S ON, NO ONE SHOULD BE TALKING AT ALL. :)
     

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