Teachers often face the problem of students yelling out during a read aloud or interrupting their small group lessons and reading conferences to ask to use the bathroom, get a drink of water, sharpen a pencil, or ask a question. These disruptions often cause other students to lose focus and become off task. The good news is there is a simple solution you can put into practice right away. Using a hand signal system in your classroom will quickly and dramatically improve student behavior and eliminate many of the disruptions that happen throughout a typical school day.

You NEED nonverbal hand signals as an elementary classroom communication and management strategy! Try out sign language or a fun secret code with fingers to keep your kids learning and following procedures, routines, strategies, and techniques. The Clutter Free Classroom has a printable and ideas for bathroom, pencil, and more so you are ready for back to school!


Did you know ALL public school teachers MUST teach a lesson about the Constitution on Constitution Day every September? This post by the Clutter - Free Classroom provides Constitution Day Activities for Elementary School Students. It also has Constitution Day Resources, Lesson Plans and Printables for Kids and suggests Constitution Day books.

Did you know ALL public school teachers MUST teach a lesson about the Constitution on Constitution Day every September? It’s true. If you teach at a school that receives government funding you are required to teach your students about the Constitution on that day each year. This post will explain how you can fulfil your legal obligation as a teacher while staying true to your values of developmentally appropriate instruction.

Classroom Arrival and Dismissal Routines

The beginning of the day and end of the day can be the most hectic times of the school day. Without consistent routines and structure, these transition times can be noisy, unproductive, and chaotic. Start and end your day smoothly with the tips and strategies listed in these two blog posts.


By having consistent and predictable routines, your classroom will run itself… Right? Unfortunately, not everything is predictable. Like when a kid needs to use the bathroom. It’s going to come up all day everyday. While you can’t control the wee little bladders of kids who have sucked down too much Capri Sun at lunch, having a plan in place will prevent both disruptions to your class and accidents. Read below to snag some ideas about how to manage bathroom trips.

Check out these simple elementary bathroom breaks printable tracker and hall pass from the Clutter Free Classroom! Teaching kids how to track when they make bathroom trips will make classroom management for bathroom use easy for you.

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