I have 18 students, all four years old. We are part of a pre-k - 8th grade school. Pre-K started last week, and the Principal wants my class to participate with the rest of the school during fire drills. I have been practicing walking in line with the class for a week now, and I am getting discouraged. The children become easily distracted, and have not been able to keep a line for more than 10 feet. I am afraid that during a fire drill, when the entire school is walking through the halls, my class will either become frightened or distracted, and I will lose track of someone. Getting a rope with rings is not in our budget. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated!

I still suggest the rope idea. It doesn't have to have rings or bears on it to keep the kids on it. We bought a very cheap, thick rope. I put enough knots in it so each kids has a knot to hold then I tied it at the end so you have two lines. I stand in the front between two of the knots. It is very effective. Eighteen is a lot of kids. I hope you find the solution you need.

I've heard that reading this story and then telling the students to walk behind you like the little ducklings do has worked for other people. I was going to try it but this year's class didn't need it.

We have a teacher at our school that lines her young 3's up "choo-choo" style. They place their hands on the shoulders of the child in front of them and chug down the hallway like a train. Don't know if 4's are to sophisticated for this technique but it does keep everyone together. Good luck.

I'm in a K=5 school and we have 25 K4s. We practice walking in line everywhere, including a fire drill. While during a drill it gets chaotic, they can walk in the hallway in line decently. There is room for improvement, but they are mostly silent (we have silent halls and a silent lunchroom). I think that it is important for the 4s to participate in a fire drill because, you never know! They must not touch the person in front or behind them, hands behind their backs and lips pressed shut, or marshmellows in their mouths etc and always eyes forward. I've found that if we have 25 of them doing the choo-choo line, they start hitting and playing around and acting silly. We compliment the heck out of them as to how smart they look etc. We try to get compliments from other teachers so we can add a cotton ball to our jar. When the jar is full from compliments we can have a party. I'm team teaching w/ my sp. ed kids in the reg. ed K4 class so there are at least 2 of us at most times. One of us walks in front and one at the back of the line. I've never taught at a school where the K4 kids have used a rope with rings. It's redundant but practice, practice, practice and they will get it. They can do it, if our students can, trust me, yours can to! For the chronic talkers, or ones that play etc. and the rest of them get it, they can miss 5 minutes of playtime while their friends are playing and walk the hall for 5 minutes. After once or twice of that, they will walk in line!

I can relate and sympathize with you about practicing walking in a line. I teach two 4 year old classes with 18 in the AM class and 20 in the PM class and this is our 2nd week of school. Walking quietly in a line down the hallway and keeping our hands to ourselves and paying attention is a definitely a challenge! I've been told by others practice, practice, practice. I try to encourage my students by challenging them to see how quiet we can be in the hallway.....quiet like a mouse. The one problem I'm having is having all students pay attention and keep the line moving all together. Patience and it will come!

I like the rope idea but if you do get one make sure you get it waaay long enough. The mistake I made was getting one that was so short once I put knots in it, the kids were too close together to walk so we had to scrap it.

Lowe's and Home Depot both have sections with large rope on reels. They can cut it to the desired length.

I may try using it again without the knots. This year I also have 18 (last year we had 15) so keeping up with those extra bodies is sometimes tough! Good luck!

Thank you all for your help. Reminding me to just "practice, practice, practice" has been very helpful. I know it will come to them, but right now it is very frustrating! Thanks again for your suggestions!

Before we enter the hall we start with the poem..."I'm giving myself a great big hug....I'm standing straight and tall...I'm looking right in front of me...I'm ready for the hall"! Amazingly it does help! : )

What I do is *spiders and bubbles*. First of all, I tell them that we are about to go somewhere so we need to get our *sillys* out so that we can walk and listen. I let them jiggle their hands, feet, heads, and jump up and down to get all of their *sillys* out. Then, I tell them to *catch a bubble* which they puff up their mouths with air. After that, I tell them *spiders* which means they interlace their fingers together on the top of their heads. This keeps them from touching one another. As I walk I remind them that I don't want bubbles popped or spiders *squooshed*..lol. It works for me. Plus, mine start Kindergarten next year so they have to get the line thing down.

I take at the people from my doll house and show the kids what I mean by "line up". I use the dolls to model lining up. As the kids are sitting in circle time, I place the dolls one behind the other. The kids understand immediately what line up means because they have the visual of the dolls lining up. Also, I teach the kids the phrase, "Walk with a purpose". It means we as a class have somewhere important to go and we need to walk quickly.

Vera Lou

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