Wow! Talk about 'winding down'...school ended and I practically went into hibernation! Spent some time today thinking about the coming year and ways to improve classroom management.
Unfortunately, I do not have a bathroom in my classroom for the students to use. Students ask to leave the classroom for both bathroom use and to get a drink. When giving them permission, I always remind them to make sure they are making good choices. Of course, most do, but there are always those that manage to wind up in trouble. I also always have a handful of students that ask to go a dozen times a day and then camp out in a stall when they get there--obviously it is an avoidance technique they have perfected over the years.
So, I began brainstorming ways to improve this situation. And while I am sure there will still be imperfections with this new system and there will still be students who try to beat the system, I came up with the following:
I am going to create a board using library book card pockets (I have a box of about 500 retiring teacher gave me once upon a time.). Each student will have a 'pocket' with two Bathroom/Drink Pass tickets. See my teacher store for a copy of the Drink & Bathroom Pass I created.
Each slip will have their name on a address label on the back (this will prevent someone from 'swiping' someone else's ticket for use). In order for a student to use the bathroom and or get a drink they will need to surrender one of their tickets. Anyone not following the rules while out of the classroom, will lose their privileges the following day. If it happens a second time, they go two days without privileges. A third time, a week. And so on.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Lady, you can't NOT allow your students the opportunity to go to the bathroom! Are you crazy? No, I am perfectly sane...at least I think so, lol! Actually, all students have the opportunity to use the bathroom and get a drink when we are in transitioning from one class to another. So, when we return from music, library, art, etc., children are allowed to stop and use the bathroom. Before, during and after lunch--another opportunity. Before recess, morning and afternoon--another chance.
So I think I am providing ample opportunities throughout the day. Truth is most students will wait and then ask to go after we've gotten back to the class. And, that's fine...but they only get to do it twice in a day's time.
Anyone else have any ideas or solutions that have worked well in your classroom? I'd LOVE to hear them!