Solved that one. I handout list of class procedures the first day … go over
them like my hero, Harry Wong, says to do. Included:
"PASSES OUT OF CLASS
You have a coupon that may be used up to twice a semester as a pass out of
class for an emergency trip to the bathroom, telephone, library or to another
classroom at the request of that instructor. Do not ask to leave class without
your coupon. When making a request to leave the room, please have your coupon,
a pen and the single hole punch with you. These coupon is your responsibility.
Loss of the coupon results in loss of privileges."
Results: I RARELY have students asking to go somewhere. The vast majority of
them do not use the four chances they have for the year. The first year I gave
credit for those not using all of their times, but not last year. I was
surprised at the kids that never used theirs once.
Making the coupon: I buy a large sheet of specialty paper – something the kids
can’t imitate (well, not to date, anyway. J ). I computer generate a sticker
with PASS OUT OF CLASS with their name on the second line, and a large I, 2, 3
and 4 spread across the bottom, all centered. I stick them on the center of
about a 2x3 piece of the specialty paper, with margin showing all around. Then
I laminate them. Next, I put a sticker at the top of the back of the coupon
with four numbered lines with places for DATE, TIME and DESTINATION on them.
This isn’t laminated so the information can be entered in ink. Then when a
student asks to be excused, I grill them … "You know you only have two passes
out of class for the whole semester. Sure you really want to use it now?" At
first, I’ll have a lot of requests, but they almost always change their minds
about going, and I don’t have to be the bad guy and say "NO!". They make the
call (although I do not automatically grant any request. They STILL have to
have my permission to go).
If they really need to go, I punch the number out and have them write the info
on the back. Works great, I’m telling you, if you stick to your guns on it.
THis idea has saved me MANY a headache and my kids are in class working and
not floating around. If you try it, make sure to pay attention to the
positioning of the stickers so you don't punch out pertinent information on
If anyone is interested, I could send you my files with the stickers on them.
They are in Microsoft Works (much better label capabilities than Word, go
I’d also share my list of procedures if anyone thinks they’d like to take a
PS - I make a few extras with no name stickers that I use when I get a new
student. I keep them under wraps, of course.