Whether you are a brand new teacher or a seasoned veteran, we all have those dreaded beginning-of-the-year nightmares. Maybe in your worst nightmares, you show up to school with absolutely nothing planned. Maybe your principal comes in to do a formal observation on day 1. Maybe you have a class full of rabid wolves. My nightmare consists of losing all my kids at dismissal.
The bell rings, and *Poof!* they’re gone and I’m left fielding calls from terrified parents wondering where their kids are and how I could possibly lose one in the utter chaos super smooth process of dismissal on week 1. If you share those fears, I’m hoping this little tool can ease your mind just a little.
Picture it now: the dismissal bell rings. You have 6 kids head off for the car rider line. Fingers crossed they make it to the right place and the appropriate person comes to pick them up at an appropriate time. 2 kids go off to the walker area. 1 kiddo stays after for YMCA and you’re left with 20 some kids to head off to the gobzillion buses lined up outside the school.
I want to introduce you to your best friend come 3:00 (or whenever it is that you get to hug and high five those little babies goodbye and sit down for the first time that day!): Dismissal Tags. What is a dismissal tag? It’s a little color-coded peace of mind. There is a tag for each way a kid gets to their destination — Bus Rider, Car Rider, Walker, or After School (for a YMCA type program). All you do is print them on different colors of bright card stock, fill them out for each kid, and laminate. Then you can zip tie or safety pin them to your kiddo’s backpack for the first week, first two weeks, or even the whole year of school!
Each tag has the kid’s name (because a shy student might not answer a random teacher when they ask them what their name is) and their teacher’s name. I put the teacher’s name so that they can easily be contacted by any adult in the school regarding dismissal questions. The bus tag also includes their bus number. Each kind of transportation is copied on a different color for ease of visibility. Those who monitor the car rider line can easily spot someone who is out of place and send them on their way to the proper place. It eases my mind knowing that any adult, or even older kid in the school can look at my little’s tag and help them get where they need to be, should they become lost, AND they can get a hold of me to ask me questions or let me know what’s going on.
Something else we do for the first week of school is pair each of our littles with a 5th or 6th grader. Their big kid helps them get off the bus and into the classroom in the morning. Then they come back 5 minutes before dismissal and pair up with their little to help them get on to their bus in the afternoon!
You can pick up the Dismissal Tags for FREE by clicking the image below!
For a few more beginning of the year Kindergarten must-haves, click through the images below!
Thanks for visiting, and I wish you the BEST year EVER! 🙂
Samantha Kelly is a Kindergarten teacher in Indianapolis who is passionate about creating resources for the busy teacher. She strives to make engaging activities and printables that are simple to implement in the classroom. Samantha is enjoying some time at home teaching her most favorite student ever — her daughter! She is also spending this time at home obtaining a Masters in Literacy Instruction. Visit her at her TpT store or on Facebook!