I think that our system works pretty well. We don't have any walkers because we are on a main highway.
At 2:05 the principal announces that all bus riders should be dismissed. Bus riders are walked out by 2 teachers per grade level and immediately go to the bus. At 2:08 the principal announces that van riders are dismissed. These are walked out by 2 teachers per grade level and sit down while they wait on their van to arrive. Bus riders and Van riders dismiss from the circle in front of the school so the van riders have to wait until buses get loaded and out of the way.
At 2:10 the bell rings to dismiss car riders. The remaining teachers walk the car riders out to the side of the building where we have another circle and the parking lot. If parents are in the circle the MUST remain in their car so the traffic doesn't get stopped. The principal will not hesitate to get angry with a parent for getting out of their car or holding up traffic. All students sit on the sidewalk and they are called to silent. The coaches walk down the line and call names which the principal calls over a loudspeaker. Those students come to the front line and watch for their ride. When their ride crosses a designated spot, they raise their hand and one of the teachers on car duty takes them and puts them in their car. When it rains or is really cold, the kids dismiss from the cafeteria, but the procedure is the same.
I have been really impressed with this procedure. We are normally done with dismissal by 2:30 on good day. The longest I've ever known it to take was until 2:40.
A hug, a high-five or a hand-shake? There are some creative ways to say good-bye to students at the end of the day. Look and see how teachers are bidding farewell to their students each night.
I think that our system works pretty well. We don't have any walkers because we are on a main highway.
If you don't want to read a book, you could play a game. I used to play a "Follow Me" game where I make motions with my hands and the kids copy me. After a few minutes I pick someone who is doing it well and it goes on from there. The kids love it...they are quiet, and attentive!
As far as the announcement goes, tell the kids what you are going to play or do during dismissal. Tell them you expect them to "sneak" to the door unheard by others. Show them how. Make a big deal. Only those who "sneak" get a sticker. Don't leave until you get your sticker. That way, you have control over the line. I'm sure the kids need to get to the cafeteria quickly, but that is your "power" over them. If they don't behave, they might have to stay late (30 seconds) to get a note to take home and get signed by a parent. You sure would hate it if they missed the bus and their parents had to leave work to come pick them up because they couldn't follow the rules!
If they don't follow the rules, they have to stay for a "I didn't follow the dismissal rules today" note to go home. Have some pre-made notes stating what is expected during dismissal and that this child did not follow the rules. In the note, ask the parent to go over these dismissal rules to help this time of day be a more safe and orderly period.
You are always going to have those few who want to rebel. I suggest giving them a special job to keep them busy. That child could organize your bookshelf or clean your chalkboard or stack papers neatly. As long as that child walks when the bus is called, he will continue to be your special helper.
I hopw some of these ideas helped. Dismissal is always a crazy time. I have to walk 50 kids across the building to the gym for dismissal and we pass the principal who expects quiet. Believe it or not, I get it. As long as the kids know they can talk when they get to the gym and that we are going to stop every time I hear sound...they stay quiet(relatively).
Good luck! I'd love to know how it goes!
Dismissal is by far the part of the day that I like the least. I have taught K, 1st, and 2nd. It isn't better at any level. The most important part, is to teach dismissal to your kids. What do you want it to look like? Do you pass out homework first? Then have the kids go to their mailboxes? Then get their bags? Whatever the procedure that you want, you need to teach it. This means you have to take the time to do it. This is the procedure that happens in my class:
I pass out homework and important papers. The kids put these in their BEE Books. The kids need to then sit quietly at their seats. Quiet tables are chosen to go to their mailboxes to get their returned work and then go to their cubby to get their book bags and jackets. Then they go back to their table, put their returned work in their BEE Book, and pack their book bag. I do all of this early so that the students have about 15 minutes before announcements once they are finished. During this time, they do their independent reading. I know you teach K so this could be a read aloud time for your class.
This has helped for me especially since we do not have a PA system in our school. We do everything over the telephone system which is much quieter than a PA would be so if the kids are noisy, we can't hear anything.
I hope this helps you out!
We too have three dismissal bells. I don't have any other duties after that so I can do games/activites with the kids. Here are the things I do...but maybe you could find something here that you could adapt to your class.
Hangman- I put things on the board that we have been studying(three states of matter, subject and predicate, etc.)
"Hello Mr. President"- One student comes to the front of the room and turns backwards. I choose someone to go to the back of the room and say (in ANY voice they can come up with)"Hello Mr. President". Then the person has to guess who said it. Right or wrong, the speaker takes the guesser's place and someone else is chosen.
They get really creative with their voices and this is their favorite!
Whisper- I whisper something to the first person (only once)they whisper what they thought they heard to the next person and so on. It gets really hard sometimes and the last person has to say it out loud. Many times it isn't even close to what I said and we talk about how gossip gets changed when repeated over and over to people.
ABC- We choose a category(take "food" for example). We start around the room. The first person says a food that begins with the letter A. The second person has to repeat the A food then add a B one. The third person has to say the A food, B food, and add a C food and so on. We see how many letters we can get to. They like this too.
We also play "Quiet Mouse" as well as "I Spy".
Hope something here has helped you!
Our class has a staggered dismissal, and I agree that this is the most challenging moment for classroom management.
I have my students stay silently in their seats until after announcements are done. Once the announcements are finished, students are to read or work on homework until they hear their bus number. Once the bus number is called, they still have to wait for me to tell them they are dismissed. Then they put up their chairs and leave.
Even with this established routine, it's still a rough time of the day. I think it's because in the kids' minds, they're DONE, and the routines fly out the window. Then again, think about the last 5 minutes of a staff meeting...
I have the same situation for dismissal. The buses are called way before the walkers and they can get out of hand as well. I usually ask trivia questions. I have the Harry Poter trivia game and Brain Quest game as well. I use these cards and ask the questions. The rules I use are: 1.) You have to be seated.
2.) Raise hand.
3.) Keep quiet in order to be called on.
If they do this then I will call on them. If they get the answer correct I let them grab a piece of candy from a jar I have. They love this and it keeps me sane until the walkers are called.
We have the time when buses are being called and then the walkers are called last. This is the time that I do trivia. I read off Brainbuster Trivia cards and the first person who is quiet and not jumping out of his/her seat gets called on. Every year all of my kids have loved doing Trivia. I usually give a piece of candy for a correct answer. Or I read aloud until the buses are called. I usually let my students left in the classroom talk quietly because they are my walkers. Sometimes I just have a quiet time for reflection of the day. I don't let anyone talk they just think about what we accomplished that day and then on the way out the door while I inital their planners they tell me one thing that they have learned for the day.
I sometimes allow the kids to play silent ball since we have already stacked the chairs for the day. The kids sit on top of their desks.
I often let the helper of the day read BrainQuest questions to the class, and pass out small treats/stickers for correct answers. I like the idea of reading poetry. I am going to try that.
What about plugging in a book on tape or reading aloud some of those 1 minute mysteries? Do your kids like Sudoko puzzles or word finds they could complete using a class set of highliters? Maybe the kids could play "I Spy" using your classroom word wall.
I have the car riders get ready to go home first, then they line up. I am usually reading aloud during this time. When their bell rings at 3:10, I stop reading and dismiss them. Then the bus riders get ready to go. When they are ready I usually start a line up game, calling out attributes they must have in order to line up--like wearing a red shirt and have a sister, etc. By the time everybody gets to line up it's usually bell time-3:20. We are fortunate not to have staggered bus time--everybody loads at once.View Thread
Whenever the students and I need a break, then we all do a "snow dance" before dismissal. The kids absolutely love it and here is how it goes: He He He, Ho Ho Ho, please God let it SNOW SNOW SNOW. We jump three times on our right foot for HE HE HE, then three times on our left foot for Ho Ho Ho, then we clasp our hands, as if in prayer, and bend at the knees for please God let it snow snow snow. My kids really get a kick out of it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Have a great rest of the school year.