As a teacher who loves to maximize every minute of class time, I struggle with bathroom breaks. And as a teacher whose classroom is extremely far from the restrooms and even further from the nurse, I cringe at the amount of learning time lost by these trips. Have you seen this meme?
This is a bit dramatic for comedic effect, but the point is the same. Students are missing content and learning opportunities when they are gone for 10 minutes.
What to do about the restroom breaks?
I have tried a few different options, but ultimately, I had decided to let it go as one of those things I couldn’t do anything about. I mean, I cannot stop them from going to the restroom. But is it really something I cannot do anything about? No…there is a better way!
Math Hall Passes
I decided even if students are missing current content, they could still use their hallway time well. There is always some skill they could be working on. A formula to memorize or reminder of a concept they have not used in a while. Why not write these skills, formulas, and concepts down and make students take them with them while they are out of the room? Or even better- make it my hall pass?
So, I designed hall passes with math skills, formulas, and concepts on them. I print, laminate, hole-punch, add a ribbon. They take it with them while they are gone. It provides them with the opportunity to keep their brain engaged and learn something, too.
Any teacher could do this for any content. Frequently misspelled words? Put them on a hall pass. Biographical information about someone students should know about? Put them on a hall pass. This idea has no limits! If you are a math teacher and would like to save the time of creating your own, click here to get mine for free!
To read more about how to use class time efficiently, read here about Bell Work.