Tip & Tricks- Bathroom Crowd Control

Oh, the bathroom! The bane of every teacher's existence. 
Never in the history of the world has a teacher ever said, 
"I love sending kids to the bathroom!". 
I recently sorted out a super simple trick for
sending kids to the bathroom one by one.
We all know that letting them travel
in packs is never a good idea!
So I bring you a...

Everything my students need is kept in 
these handy dandy caddys 
which I've blogged about here

This week I added a craft stick into the caddy 
with each students' name on it. 

When the kids need to go to the bathroom 
the girls put their stick in 
the pink cup and the boys in the green cup. 
Only one stick is allowed in each cup at a time. 
If your genders' cup is full the bathroom is closed. 
Don't forget to take your stick back to your seat.
Although the kids are great at policing each other about this.

 Here the boys' room is closed and the girls room is open. 

When the bathroom is empty is looks like this!

I make my kids give me the sign language symbol for bathroom to go. 
And of course 150 days into the school year 
and they still ask to go at all the wrong times, 
but we are working on it!

And if all else fails do this!
Check out more fun tips and tricks over at Becca's Foxwell Forest!


  1. I am right there with you girl on sending kids to the bathroom! I was spoiled for my first four years of teaching and had one in my classroom, but now I have to send them to the hall bathrooms! AH! :) Thanks for sharing a super easy trick to implement! So glad that you linked up Deirdre!!

    Becca :)
    Foxwell Forest

  2. This is brilliant! I can't wait to implement it this year! I seriously change my bathroom routine like 20 times a year, they never seem to "stick" ;)

    Sparkling in Second

  3. I do the same thing but with white boards attached to the wall by the door. They write their names on the board to go out and if there is a name on the door they can't go. I teach music, so it would too much to have 8+ class sets of popsicle sticks when we also don't have desks

  4. I use the hand sanitizer at their table when they go to the bathroom. What I run into is there are always kids from other classes in the bathroom when my students need to go. Then they end up playing around in there with those kids. Either that or the student goes and comes right back saying that they went when you know they didn't even get to the bathroom in that very short amount of time.

  5. My students each have 3 "tickets" with their names on them. We have 5 times throughout the day they can go. They put a ticket in a bucket by the door when they go. When they've used their tickets, they are done for the day. If they have to go during class, they have to make up that time with me during recess. Student of the day returns the tickets at the end of the day.

    1. I teach high school... I also give tickets to be used each semester, but I have struggled with how to handle "emergency" trips after the tickets are gone. Students have a 20-minute break each morning, free time to talk or use their phones, so having them miss a few minutes of break would work very well! Thanks :)

  6. I have my kids write their name on a white board list. That way they know who is out and when they are next, and they erase their name off the board when they come back. With 27 kids this works well for us!

  7. I had the potty class this year, worse than ever before. So I used my color card chart and repurposed it. Each kiddo has a pocket containing 3 plain popsicle stick and a "rocket ticket", a school-wide PBIS system component. When they gotta go, they signal me and I remove a stick and put in a container. (chart is next to me.) I take their ticket out, too. They have two more in-class opportunities to use the restroom for the rest of the week. If they need more, they owe a ticket. If out of tickets, they owe one minute of recess. But if anyone doesn't go during class time all week, they get the ticket. At least half my class keeps their ticket and very few have to "pay." Hardly ever does anyone owe recess time. Their comings and "goings" have gone way down!

  8. Are kids going to the bathroom more than they used to? When I was in grade school (late 80s early 90s), they did it at recess or lunch. I don't really recall having to leave during class more than occasionally. We would have 90 minutes of class, 20 minute recess, 60-75 minutes of class, 30-45 minutes lunch/recess (classes were staggered going to lunch). 1:45 of class, 20 minute recess, then 80 minutes of class.

    1. Kiddos these days (at least in my area) only get one recess, right before lunch. So they have to go during other times.

  9. mattcintosh2......I really really wish school schedules were the same now as what you describe. I had a similar school schedule and think it would benefit kids in many ways!!!

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