You Oughta Know About…Using the Bathroom?!

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Welcome to You Oughta Know! This is a blog hop featuring several of my good blogging buddies who will share things that you “oughta know” for your classroom. Make sure to hop over to each person’s blog to learn a few new things. Now if you ask me, I think you oughta know about the bathroom. Wait! It’s not what you think…

Yay, I didn’t lose you! You clicked “read more” so I didn’t scare you away completely. Now I know you’re wondering what using the bathroom has to do with providing a classroom tip. Well, I have a quick tip that I’ve mentioned before on Instagram but never on my blog on how to manage restroom time.

In my first grade classroom, I am seriously blessed to have a restroom in my classroom. It is a blessing and a curse sometimes. On the positive side, my students always have access to the restroom; On the somewhat negative side…my students always have access to the restroom. Are you catching my drift?

For some teachers, this issue does not bother them. However, I am weird and I don’t like for instruction time to be filled with little ones going to the potty. Teachers, we all know that when one needs to go they ALL have to go! Also, for some reason my kids always argued about who would go to the bathroom first.

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So, I manage my bathroom time now by using a bathroom line. Nothing really fancy here folks, but it is oh so helpful. Each child in my classroom has a number. I write their numbers on clothespins and put them in a small basked. I designated times during the day when the classroom bathroom is “open.” Usually the times are in the morning during morning routine, during Daily 5 rotations, before lunch, after recess, and during our end of the day routine.

I simply announce when these “open” times can begin, but my co-worker puts a green and red circle next to the bathroom to signal when the bathroom can be visited and cannot be visited. I’m going to do that next school year…totally stealing borrowing her idea, she won’t mind!

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My students know to put the clothespin that corresponds to their assigned number on the bathroom line. When the line is filled, my students know that they have to wait. The first person who puts their clothespin on the bathroom line knows that they have permission to go in (trust me, it was a process to get them to learn this procedure). When that person comes out, they take off their clothespin and call the number for the next person. They must say it like this “Number [whatever number that’s next], you may come to the restroom.” If we are in the middle of Daily 5 rotations, they know that they cannot announce it aloud. Rather, they must tap that person and whisper the statement to them.

Oh, I smile inside when they say it! They sound so nice and polite.

The process continues until I announce that bathroom time is over. Rarely do any students miss their opportunity to use the restroom, but I like this process because I’d like to think that I am conveying to my students that although we have bathroom access at all times, we cannot use spend all of our learning time there.

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Grab this Bathroom Freebie for yourself in my TpT store here and start managing your bathroom time!

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38 comments

  1. What a fantastic idea! Even though teachers in my school don't have bathrooms in their classrooms, I can still see this being such a valuable tool. Some students spend so much time wondering when it will be their turn to go, that they miss out on learning. This system will allow students (and teachers) to know who is going next. What an easy and fair way to address turns in the bathroom!

    Thanks for the freebie!
    -iHeartLiteracy

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    1. Thanks for coming by! Yes, kids love going in and out of the restroom. I don't know what it is lol!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this idea! Thanks for the freebie, too. :0) Great idea for a blog hop---I am enjoying reading all of the tips...

    Smiles,
    Sarah

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  3. Thanks for hosting the blog hop! I can't wait to check out the rest of the ideas! I like how you so intentionally teach bathroom use!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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    1. Thanks Tara! Everything is a routine. You can't always expect for them to know!

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  4. What a great idea!! I will be hoping around to see what everyone else posted.

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  5. I'm totally stealing, er borrowing, this idea for my middle schoolers! I love the red/green idea. Thanks for hosting the blog hop!

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    1. Steal away! And I am glad that you can use this idea for middle school. I would have never thought that they would have restroom management issues. It just goes to show you that procedures are important no matter how young or old the students are.

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  6. This is a great idea! I have a bathroom in my classroom also and my kids want to use it ALL the time...this would totally keep me sane!

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    1. Thanks Natalie! Before I started using this system, my kids wanted to go all the time as well. Things move much more smoothly now!

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  7. This is such an awesome idea!! I just love it! We don't have a bathroom in my classroom but when we do D5, I always have a heard of boys run up to me when someone comes back with the pass! This just might solve that dilemma!

    Stephanie
    Mrs. Cain's Creations

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! I hope this idea helps you!

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  8. What a fabulous idea! I had a bathroom when I taught kinder, and this would have made such a difference!

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    1. Thanks Mary! Hopefully you can pass this idea to any other coworkers that may have restrooms in their classroom :-)

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  9. Thank you, Jasmine! I am totally downloading that now! We have a bathroom not too far down the hallway and I let kids go at certain times when they show me the sign language version of "May I go to the restroom?" That works like a dream because I can nod my head if the answer is yes and keep working with my small group, etc. However, sometimes I have more than one needing to go at the same time. So I think I will use this idea as well. Thank you for the tip!

    Also, thank you for the fun Blog Hop! I am looking forward to gathering all kinds of great tips!

    Carrie
    i Heart Second

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your version of restroom time in your classroom!

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  10. Jasmine, this is a great idea! I had a bathroom in my classroom at my last school, and it was wonderful! Far better than only having one in the hall! Thanks for sharing!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!

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    1. Thank you Theresa! And yes, it is so convenient to have a bathroom in the classroom.

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  11. We don't have a bathroom in our classroom but goodness knows kids are always lined up, waiting and forgetting who was before or after them. This definitely solves this problem. Thank you!

    Hope
    Teaching With Hope

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    1. Before I had a bathroom in my classroom, I had the same dilemma!

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  12. What a simple, but brilliant idea. I love it when kids can learn how to manage themselves.
    Debbie
    Crockett's Classroom...Forever in Third Grade

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    1. Thanks Debbie and that is what I LOVE about it. My students literally run our restroom times. And the best thing is that it doesn't take away from classroom instruction time.

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  13. I used to have a bathroom in my first grade classroom, but then I voluntarily moved to a bigger room and we do not have a bathroom. I use bathroom passes and they can go into the hallway (the bathrooms are right across the hall) one boy and girl at a time. They do also know the times when they are not allowed to go. This is a great idea for managing a BR in the classroom! Thank you for the awesome hop, I am getting lots of ideas!

    Lindsey
    Forever First Grade

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    1. Hall passes are a good idea for bathrooms outside of the classroom!

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  14. This last year I so missed having a bathroom in my room. It was pretty much the best thing ever, kids just went and never had to ask. This would be a perfect solution! I just hate being interrupted for bathroom trips but want kids to feel comfortable going when they need to, especially kindergartners that often can't wait ;)

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    1. I totally understand that especially with kindergartners. My firsties can wait a little bit longer between trips lol!

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  15. Jasmine, thanks so much for hosting this and allowing me to participate. I finally got through every single blog (I had to split it up some because I tend to get sleepy when I sit in front of the screen for two long). I really enjoyed this and intend to participate again next time!

    Thanks again!
    karen
    Smarticle Particles

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    1. No problem Karen! I'm glad that you agreed to participate.

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  16. Glad to have found you, Jasmine! This is a great idea for a linky. I got some good ideas... like yours! Hope you do it again! I can think of several things to share.
    Kidpeople Classroom

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, and yes I plan to do it every month. I'd love for you to join in next time!

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  18. Great Idea!! I was trying to think of a bathroom procedure for this school year. My little kinders are always running to the bathroom and it interrupts instruction big time!

    BTW a personal friend of yours sent me a link to your blog.

    Please check mine out
    Mrs. Paul's Corner

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    1. Hi Trakasha! Yes, this bathroom line saves so much time. I'm heading over to your blog to check it out :-)

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