Saturday, February 07, 2015

Potty Training {In the Classroom}

Yes, you read that title correctly. Potty training. In the classroom. 8 out of my 10 students require assistance with the bathroom routine. Which is fine and to be expected given the nature of my classroom. But as soon as the students are ready, we do practice the steps of using the potty; whether or not they go.

As soon as we notice that students are staying dry more frequently, that's a good time to step up the amount of trips they make to the bathroom- hopefully so that you catch them in time to use the potty. Once they start using the potty, then voila-- you've got bathroom steps already taught and NOW they're using the potty too.

Don't get me wrong, I know that just made it sound like it's 10x easier than it actually is. Bathrooming in the classroom is time consuming and exhausting. By the end of the day I know my classroom paras and I are so OVER handing off that bathroom PEC. But you are teaching such an important skill and I try to make it my goal that students are potty trained before they go to Kindergarten. That doesn't mean they always are--but if they aren't, they should at least be able to do the steps of taking off their pull up and putting on a new one by the time they go to kinder.

I also LOVE bathroom visuals. I've always had a visual schedule posted in my bathroom for the steps. Boys and girls schedules-- whether needed for both boys and girls or not, the schedules are always available. For the longest time these were the schedules I was using...and I honestly thought I had a picture of them, but it turns out I don't. They are available from though! I would just print them out, cut out the images I wanted to use and create a long "strip schedule", using the blue and pink headers at the top of the schedule. Click {here} for the boys schedule and {here} for the girls schedule. If you are not a member of boardmakershare you may have to sign-up to download these.

They were great. We had a clothespin on them and students would move the clothespin down through the steps. I had to tweak them for some students who do not wear pull-ups with adjustable sides. For those guys we have to add in taking off and putting on shoes in the sequence.

The problem I ran into with this schedule recently were students who did not have the fine motor skills to manipulate the clothespin on the schedule. Yes-- pre-reqs for potty training--using a clothespin!

So I came across these bathroom visuals from Creative Learning 4 Kidz on TpT. Click {here} for the boys schedule and click {here} for the girls schedule. I love their store! I purchased these bathroom schedules and taped them to the wall in the appropriate places. I added velcro and laminated red circles that students place on top of each step after it's done. No clothespin. No problem.


It was really distracting for some students; either they loved putting the dots on and would move ahead, requiring additional prompting to take off the dot. OR the student moved at the speed of molasses and we were in the bathroom EVEN longer.

I've decided to go with some prompt rings instead. I've made them for boys and girls. On each ring are all the visual prompts for each step that I will need. I basically took a visual schedule and put it on a ring. This way the child has nothing to manipulate, but they are getting the visual they need to complete the step.

If you want to try out these prompt rings you can find them in my TpT store. Just uploaded last night! Click {here} to find them, or click the image below.



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