So, I can be a *tad* neurotic at times. There are lots of things I do not do… like pets and meat and blue food and the word ‘moist’ and most importantly, GERMS.
I know, I chose the wrong profession for not doing germs, but I love kids more than I dislike germs, so it works for me. What it does mean is that there will be very specific structures in my classroom to ensure germ-age is kept at a minimum.
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One of the procedures that makes me and my not-doing-germs self most anxious is the bathroom pass. I have several concerns
(1) Kids get germy when in the restroom.
(2) Students have to do something with the bathroom pass while in the bathroom. Does any teacher really know where it goes????
(3) Kids don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
(4) Students have to touch the classroom door knob when leaving and returning to the classroom. (2.7 million bacterial cells per square inch on a door knob!!!!!)
(5) During this entire process, students are out of the classroom and not learning.
Traditional bathroom passes require student’s germy hands to pick up a bathroom pass, touch the 2.7 million bacterial cells on the door knob, slowly trek to the restroom, use the restroom (where is the bathroom pass right now?!?!?!), get germy, consider washing their hands, slowly saunter back to the classroom, touch the 2.7 million bacterial cells on the door knob AGAIN, and put the now 5.4 million-bacterial-cell-infected bathroom pass back on a hook/table. Repeat this process for 5-6 students a day, and you have my nightmare.
Therefore, I eliminated the option of a bathroom pass that has to be held, randomly tossed somewhere in the bathroom, and brought back to the classroom to infest my classroom. Sorry, friends. I CANNOT HANDLE IT. Cannot. Also, because I am also neurotic about LICE, I eliminated the option of a lanyard bathroom pass. Can you imagine my classroom being ground zero for a lice epidemic???
Anyway, it is out of my neurotic fears, that I decided the clip-on bathroom pass was the way to go. So, this is what it looks like (i.e. this is what I will demand happens with the bathroom/hall pass).
(1) Student asks to use the restroom.
(2) Student uses hanitizer. (Thanks for the term, Erica!)
(3) Student takes appropriate clip from poster and clips it on the middle/top of his/her shirt.
(4) Student uses restroom and “washes” hands.
(5) Student returns to classroom and uses hanitizer.
(6) Student removes clip and returns it to the poster.
Voila! In theory the transfer of germs has been minimized. Now, I know all of you veteran teachers are laughing hysterically at my multi-step plan, but just having this plan puts me at ease. Plus, when I see the rare student properly using the system (hanitzing twice), my heart will leap with joy.
So, I whipped up these 3.5 x 2.25 bathroom/hall passes and a poster for the wall. Then, I laminated these friends. I picked up some name-tag clips at Walmart and attached them. And, there you go! They were super simple and can be easily replaced if destroyed or dropped in a toilet.
So, the set of passes I initially made (above) were *tad* passive aggressive but at the time I made them (summer, weeks before I actually started teaching real children) they effectively communicated my feelings about bathroom and hall escapades. We only had 50 minutes a day for reading which means if students take even 5 minutes to use the restroom they are missing 1/10 of instruction or practice reading?!?! That is crazy talk. So, I wanted students to realize they are making a conscious choice to leave the room and must use that responsibility wisely and quickly. In reality, I had a change of heart.
If you would like to create your own set of clips, here is the file! I’ve also included a less passive-aggressive alternative for all of you kind-souled teachers. (Please note, after meeting my 5th graders and careful consideration of their feels, I’ve actually used the below version of the chart.)
Oh goodness. I got so wrapped up in germs that I am out of energy to tell you all about my first creation for my very first classroom! Quick rundown because I am kind of in love with these bright and fun posters. Plus, I just printed them, and they look fantastic! After reading Miller’s The Book Whisperer, I am set that my classroom library will be organized by genre, but I wanted a guide for students. (We technically do not cover genre in 5th grade, but it is so important for students when they pick just-right books). So, I looked at current trends and we all know subway art is in right now. It’s clean, professional looking, and communicates a lot of information in a small space. Knowing this, I created a set of subway art Genre Posters! These posters are perfect for hanging in your classroom library or on a focus wall as each genre is studied. My game plan is to introduce them individually the first weeks of school and then, keep them on display in the library corner! If you are interested in learning more about these posters, click here or the preview below. 🙂
Well friends, you all just learned a whole lot about me in this post. I’m embarrassed. Oh, goodness. Thanks so much for Fourth Grade Frolics for hosting Monday Made it! Make sure to stop by and see all of the amazing ideas out there in Blogland. 🙂
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