End of the day routines and class dismissal can be one of the most chaotic times of the day in your classroom. Typically there’s a lot of movement and teachers are trying to remind students of important information. Students are often very chatty because they know that the school day is over and are ready to go.
Having a class dismissal plan is important but just like with the morning routine, if it’s not working…change it and fix it. Use your class meeting time to discuss ways to improve your pack up routine.
Set Up an Afternoon Routine
Questions to ask yourself when setting up an afternoon class dismissal routine for your classroom:
- What responsibilities do I need my students to do every afternoon?
- How will I communicate this plan to my students?
- Will I have a chart or display a message?
- Will I use words or pictures or both?
- What do they need to pack?
- What do they need to clean up?
- How will they know they have cleaned up?
- What materials do they need to take home?
- What do my students need to do when they finish packing?
- Who is responsible for cleaning up certain materials/items?
- What will students do when they are packed up but it’s not dismissal time?
Example Class Dismissal Routine:
- Copy Agenda
- Pack Belongings
- Clean Area & Return Materials
- Complete Afternoon Class Jobs
- Stack Chairs
- Sit on Desk
- Read Aloud
- Afternoon School Announcements
- Line up according to dismissal location
One to the things that really helps to make sure our classroom is cleaned and organized each day is our class jobs. Many of our class jobs take place during our afternoon routine. We also have an afternoon supervisor just like our morning supervisor to assist with following our afternoon routine.
Noisiness is something I embrace in the afternoons. I have tried to avoid it, but it’s much easier to allow students to talk than to keep them quiet. We do have several discussions at the beginning of the year and throughout as we need it on voice level and volume. This also is a great time for me to chat personally with students and build those relationships.
Once the majority of students have packed up, I will read aloud to students which quiets them back down so when it’s time to dismiss we are not loud and rowdy.
Of course, you should always do what works best for you in your classroom with your students. There is not just one way to do things.