How I Turned My LEAST Favorite Time of the Day Around

Dismissal. My absolute least favorite time of the day. 10 minutes or so of what has the potential to become total chaos. Anyone else out there feel that way?

For years- even after tirelessly practicing our end of the day procedures- those last 10-15 minutes of the day always came with the possibility of spiraling out of control. We could have a great day... and then after going through the process of getting ready to go home I would feel beat down and in total survival mode by the time the bell rang and I got them out the door. 


One year I started doing a really simple thing that made my dismissal life SO MUCH EASIER!

We started getting packed up about an hour before it was time to go home. That particular school year we had our afternoon recess about 75 minutes before dismissal. So about 5 minutes before it was time to go out we would start our packing up. Kids would get their mailbox papers, coats and backpacks. They would hang their backpacks and coats on the  backs of their chairs. They were quick and quiet getting their things because they wanted to get outside on time. 

This procedure worked like a charm! 

During years that we did not have a late afternoon recess, I would schedule a restroom break before our last subject of the day- students would get packed up and then get in line for the restroom. For some reason, the act of getting prepared knowing they were leaving the classroom made them quicker and more efficient in packing up. They wanted to get in line to go!

Since we were already packed up- we were able to work a little longer at the end of the day (usually science or social studies time) and then I could read a few more pages from our read aloud before announcements and the final bell. This simple procedure allowed us to finish the day with my MOST FAVORITE activity during the school day- read aloud. (Be sure to check out my post about the Importance of Read Aloud!

You should give this a try- there's nothing to lose and you might find it will help save some of your sanity at the end of the school day!

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