I teach 5th grade. They had a bathroom in their classroom last year (I looped). Now we have a new room, and there is no bathroom. I think some are abusing the bathroom pass to go chat with a friend, because it seems that a couple of them go 3-4 times a day! How many times do is too many for a 5th grader to need to use the bathroom? I am about to get rid of the 2 passes and just have 1.
We make class bathroom trips. I let 3 girls/3 boys in at a time. We go once around 9:30 or 10:00 and then I remind them again before and after lunch. In my mind, that should be absolutely enough. Dismissal is at 2:35. If I can hold it for like 10 hours, they should be able to hold it for 3 hours, tops.
I always have kids asking during instructional time if they can go. I give them "you need to plan this better... we were at the bathroom x minutes ago... did you go then? You can go this time but you ought to go while we are there". A lot of times I tell them no during instructional time, then when we go as a group even just a few minutes later, they don't go in the restroom. Hmm.. That's a real head-scratcher.
I only send ONE child at a time outside of the class trips. I should be better about noting the time when they go. I really need start a log book or something so I can see who is chronic about it.
I allow one in the morning and one in the afternoon per child, unless of course there is a medical concern. One boy and one girl are allowed to be out at a given time, but I have reduced it just to one kiddo at a time when I've had to.
I have a boy's pass and a girl's pass. Only one can go at a time. They sign out and put the time on a sheet by the door. If I see that they are abusing the pass, I take that option away from that student for a week and only let them go at recess. They may not use the pass when I am "directly " teaching ( as in front of the class talking and teaching).
I have a girl and boy pass for my class. In the past they took the passes with them to the bathroom but I've found they don't always make it back to the classroom. So this year when they leave for the bathroom they put the pass on their desk. Only one boy and one girl allowed out at a time. They don't even have to ask to go. I know who is in the bathroom because the pass is on their desk. We all take a bathroom break on the way back from lunch and recess.
When someone is abusing the pass I just talk to the parents and let them know I've noticed their child is spending a lot of time in the bathroom. Wanted to check with them to make sure everything is okay. Normally that takes care of the problem because if there was really a problem I'd already know about it.
-First destroy the Pass!!! And, never use one because it truly is one of the most germ infested objects, and is handled before and after washing hands. Ugh!
-I taught science for many years before I did 5th grade...and have discussed the "Pass" and the capacity of the human bladder under "normal conditions" with my students. They do usually parade if you let them just to chat or avoid work, or homework being checked.
-They sign in and out in the classroom when they need to use the lavatory (next to my big bottle of Hand Sanitizer), but I restrict the times they can go to the homeroom period in the morning, before dismissal, and before and after the lunch period. Four times a day seems reasonable. I usually don't allow them out during instructional time unless it's an extreme emergency, or at least if they can wait for the bell between periods.
-But, be aware that some of your young ladies, even as young as 3rd or 4th grade may already be menstruating, so you can have a talk with your girls and develop some kind of a private signal.
-I too only send them out one at a time.
-And, remember...you're not being cruel. It's important to know where all your children are
for safety reasons, and in case there is a sudden fire drill, etc.
We start school at 9, recess is at 10:45, so they can go then. Lunch is at 12:40, they can go again, and I give a break right before specialist time (3:00). Still, some need to go at other times, but not too much. I think if they need to go,then go.
We take one scheduled restroom break, following lunch. I allow each child one check-out from class during the day, thus 5 per week. Students must sign in and out when leaving class to go to the restroom. I have a bathroom pass that students place on their desks as a visual for me to see who is in the restroom. Any check-outs over 5 count against students' extra recess time on Friday. For example, if they checked out 7 times, and the last two check-outs were for 4 mins. and 5 mins. respectively, then the child owes me 9 mins. of their break time. I explained that if they are taking away instructional/learning time to go to the restroom (above and beyond what is allotted during the day), then they owe that time back to themselves for learning. The number of students who owe me time each week has gone down drastically since the first three weeks of school. I think they're finally catching on....
Last edited by jennmcg72; 10-05-2010 at 05:34 PM..