Dismissal time has always been my least favorite part of the school day. It was the time of the day that was the most noisy and chaotic in my classroom. Then, I put some end of the school day procedures in place, and now dismissal goes much smoother.
End of the School Day Procedures
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This year, my school changed the way we do dismissal. In previous years, bus students sat in the gym until their busses were called. Everyone was in the right spot, and everyone got on the bus when it came. However, the room became very loud, and there were lots of behavior problems.
This year, we are keeping our bus students in our classrooms until the bus arrives. Then, the bus number is announced over the intercom, and the students head downstairs. I knew I had to get my end of the school day procedures under control, or my students were going to miss the bus.
Here are the end of the school day procedures that are saving my sanity (and keeping my students from missing the bus).
#1 – Get the Timing Right
After reflecting on the reason my dismissal time was crazy, I realized that it had a lot to do with timing. Some days, I taught as long as I could and only allowed 5 minutes for packing. Those days, my students were running around trying to get what they needed before the bell rang. They often forgot things, and my classroom was left a mess as we rushed out the door.
Other days, I stopped too early and allowed 15 minutes for packing. That wasted instructional time, because everyone was packed with 5 minutes to spare.
Ten minutes seems to be the magic number in my classroom. It gives everyone enough time to pack without cutting into our social studies lesson.
#2 – Display End of Day Procedures
You need to make sure your students know what they are supposed to do at the end of the day. I created a Google slide with the day’s homework and the order students need to do things. I project it on the board so the students can follow the directions in order.
#3 – Make it Easy for Students to Get Their Papers
Handing out papers at the end of the day can be very time-consuming. My students each have a mailbox where I put all the papers they need to take home, including their homework. I love this classroom mail system from Really Good Stuff! I’ve had them for 10 years, and it’s still in great condition!
#4 – Have Students Move at Different Times
When everyone is moving at the same time, the closet area gets congested, and that leads to pushing and yelling. Avoid this by sending students to get their backpacks at different times.
I have my students write their homework and raise their hands at their seats. Then, I star their assignment books and send them to get their mail and backpacks. This way, they aren’t all up at the same time.
#5 – Set a Timer
If you allow your students to pack at their own pace, you will have some that will move as slow as a snail. I set a timer for 5 minutes, and anyone who is completely packed and in their seat when the timer goes off gets a point on Class Dojo.
#6 – Plan a Quick Game for Any Extra Time
If your students are all packed and sitting quietly before the bell rings, reward them with a quick end of the day game.
Here are some of my students’ favorites:
- Heads-Up, Seven-Up
- 20 Questions
- Silent Soccer
- Four Corners
If you use all of these end of the school day procedures, dismissal will go smoothly, and you’ll end your day more relaxed and energized instead of completely drained.
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What Do You Think?
What is your favorite end of the school day procedure?
Let me know in the comments below.
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