I have two laminated key shapes; one marked “Girls” and one marked “Boys”. When one of my students needs to use a bathroom key, he/she does not have to ask permission. The student takes the key and then lays it on top of his/her desk. The other students and I can see at a glance if the key is avaliable and who is using it. My only rule is that students not leave the room when I am introducing a lesson or when we are in the middle of an activity-except in the case of an emergency. We talk about not abusing this bathroom priviledge, about proper hallway and bathroom behavior, and about responsibility and trust; about how trust is a gift someone gives to you and about how hard it is to get back once you lose it. It has worked well for my fifth graders. It is easy to tell if someone is abusing the system. Certain patterns develop and word of misbehavior in the bathroom has a way of getting quickly back to me. Usually a serious talk with the student or the temporary loss of his freedom of choice in using the bathroom is enough to get that student back with the program. I agree that sometimes a student just needs to move around a bit or needs a brief change of envioronment. A walk down the hall, even if it is just to get a drink of water helps to relieve tension and fatigue and helps students get focused again. Love to Teach, 5th, Originally posted at the Discussion Forums
I teach 5th graders and found this works for me and my students: On the first day of school, each child receives two laminated bathroom passes. I made these out of construction paper and ran them through the laminating machines. (I actually try to make them during the summer, and then just write their names on them in permanent marker when I get my class list) Mine say: “Mrs. Givens’ Gotta-Go-Now! Pass” They also have a cute clip-art of some type on them. I explain to the students that they only get two passes to go to the bathroom for the day, and that they cannot go while I’m teaching in front of the class, so that limits them to when they are doing classwork of some kind and they don’t miss an important lecture or set of directions being given for something. Two passes are really enough, I’ve found, because the kids realize by the first week or so of school, that they can ask the PE coach if they can go or the art or music teacher when they’re with them. I can’t control that, of course, but the two passes really help in the classroom time. Last year, I had a couple of boys or three or four girls who wanted to go to the bathroom first thing in the morning to talk or whatever, and this really limited that. They really think before they go because they know they only have two passes. Hope it works for you! I realize it might not be a good idea for the tiny ones! AnnetteG, 5th, Originally posted at the Discussion Forums
At the beginning of the week, students are given 5 bathroom passes to use for visiting the restroom or getting a drink, on which they write their name. The student must give the teacher a pass in order to leave the room and it must be an appropriate time, i.e. not while teacher is teaching, testing, group work. At the end of the week, any remaining passes students have are put into a container and one is pulled out for a special prize. To prevent “extra” passes being made, I print the tickets on colored paper. Also, to not waste paper, I make the tickets very small. Each child is responsible for their own tickets: no extras will be handed out and none can be carried over from week to week. It sure controlled those extra trips to the water fountain!
At the beginning of the grading period (6 weeks) the students receive a bathroom pass from me. The strip of paper is stapled into their agendas. My name is on the pass and the numbers 1, 2, and 3. When they need to use the bathroom, I cross through one of the passes. I initial and date the pass. If they run out of their 3 passes before the 6 weeks are up, they receive a responsibility infraction. In our school, receiving 5 responsibility infractions equals a detention after school. This seems to work well and has cut down on bathroom breaks. A.Montgomery
We have a boy’s and a girl’s bathroom right outside our doorway. To prevent a line, I made a sign for the boy’s and the girl’s bathroom. One side is red and the other green. They are attached to the wall by the doorway with velcro. When a student needs to use the bathroom, they look to see if the sign is green. If it is, they turn the sign over to red, use the bathroom, then turn the sign to green when they are no longer using the bathroom Doreen W.
I have a double pocket chart next to my door. I have each pocket numbered with the students number on colorful stickers. On one side the helper places the lunch card and the other side is for bathroom stripes. I have two small boxes one holding strips of red paper and one holding strips of yellow paper. Each student is allowed one morning pass(red) and one afternoon pass (yellow). When a student needs to use the restroom he or she holds up one finger and when I acknowledge them, they place the appropriate color strip in their pocket. This allows me to look without interrupting the class to see how many times they have been but they can also look to see if they have already been. (Yes, they do forget) This has saved me many headaches and it has stopped the number of times they are leaving the room and it is quiet. S. Buras
Bathroom Sign Out
I have a small whiteboard with an erasable pen and eraser on the end of it by the door. When a child needs to use the restroom he/she must print his/her name on the whiteboard before leaving the classroom and erase his/her name when returning to class. I allow only one student in the restroom at a time. Students know that when a name is on the whiteboard they need to wait until that person returns. I like having the child’s name on the whiteboard so I know exactly who is out of the classroom.
I teach sixth grade and here’s how our team addresses this problem. Students receive a laminated “ticket” with their name on it at the beginning of the day. If they need to use the restroom (they hold up three fingers to signal,) they sign out and turn in their ticket. Students may not use the restroom if it’s within 20 minutes of the bell, unless it’s an emergency. At the end of the day, the teacher collects the unused tickets and draws a name for a reward. teacheramy, 6th, Originally posted at the Discussion Forums
Magnetic Name Cards
I observed a teacher who had a pretty good policy during her small group reading/individual working time… each kid has a magnetic name card, and there’s a spot for one boy and one girl to be out of the room at the bathroom at a time… if they need to go, and there’s an empty spot for their gener on the board, if she’s working with a small group, they simply hold up their name card, and she nods yes or no… they put their card on the board, and remove it when they come back. clarnet73, Originally posted at TeacherChat Discussion Forums
Promoting Responsibility & Respect
My method is fairly simple. You only need a wipe off board and the time it takes to have a classroom discussion. Posting a board next to the door allows students to leave without disrupting the flow of the lesson and also allows you to know where everyone is at all times. If it is ever an issue of “over-use” the students simply talk through the concern and take actions to remedy their behavior. They know before it is mentioned that they should be responsible and respectful. This promotes both of those things. M. Riggenbach
Secret Code: Less Distractions Finally!
I was tired of students always raising their hand at inappropriate times to use the bathroom. Finally we made a system. When a child need to go to the bathroom they raise their pinky finger. When they recieve a silent nod from me they may go. If they need to get out of their seat for a tissue or to sharpen a pencil they raise two fingers. This works very well and the kids feel like they have a secret code! Katiessu, 3rd
Sign In & Out Sheet
I was tired of my students always interupting me to use the bathroom while I was teaching so I made a system. The students get two “tickets” at the beginning of the day. They may use the tickets to use the bathroom, go to the lockers during class, get drinks; basically anything out of the room during class. They turn in one of their tickets for each time they leave. If they already used up both their tickets and they have to use the bathroom as an emergency, I let them, otherwise they can’t leave until the bell rings. It works out very well!
I have a notebook on my desk and I require my students to sign out to go to the restroom or get a drink. They may sign out three times per week. For each time over three they serve recess. Very effective.
I use a system called time out for managing behavior as well as for students who constantly request to go to the bathroom or their lockers during class time. I will ask the student is it worth 5 minutes of their lunch time to go to the bathroom or lockers. If the answer is Yes, I allow them to go, but at lunch time they have to come to me for lunch detention for 5 minutes. To ensure they don’t forget, I send notes to the teacher that they go to during the lunch period. They are always glad to remind them. I apply the same principle for misconduct in class. Each misbehavior gets 5 minutes of their lunch time. It usually only takes a student missing five minutes of their lunch a couple of times before they get the idea.
Time to earn some tickets!!!
When my students have to use the bathroom they use tickets. Throughout the day if students are doing a good job I give them tickets. When they need to use the bathroom, get a drink, go to lockers or anything outside the classroom they put two fingers up and they put their tickets in a jar by the door and go. At the end of the day the students hand in unused tickets and put them in a jar. Then I pick three students out of the jar to eat lunch in the classroom with me the following day. This works great so students don’t try to get out of the classroom for no reason.
Using Sign Language
I have my students use sign language to let me know when they need to use the bathroom. I will either nod my head yes or no, so it does not have to interrupt what we are doing. To make the sign for “toilet” make a sign language T (fist with thumb between the index and middle fingers) then turn the wrist from side to side.