How do you dismiss?

Tomorrow is officially the first day of school!

Now that I've got most of my I's dotted and T's crossed in the classroom, open house over, my lesson plans ready, books and materials pulled out - I needed to get my dismissal list ready!
Ya'll... I need lots of thoughts and prayers this next month! We have 5 kindergarten classrooms and we ALL have 26-27 kids on our rosters. EEEK! We all had most of them show up at open house so that means... we will actually have that many the first day/ weeks/ month of school! Our principals cannot get permission from the district to hire another teacher until school has started, attendance is taken and there is an obvious overflow of kids. (Our cap here is 22, but if there's only one or two over per class we can waiver it) but twenty! seven! 

I look forward to getting to know all 27 of them! ha! They all seemed precious at open house, but I seriously need some happy thoughts sent my way until (crossing fingers!) we can get another teacher at our school. You all know what a difference 5 (or 1 for that matter!) kids can make!

Back to the topic - that first week or two of school when you're still trying to figure out who the kids' parents are, what car they drive, etc. you need a good dismissal routine to keep everyone accounted for! Last year I used popsicle sticks with my kid's names and my name on it. I passed them out at the end of the day and they had to hand it to me before they could leave. It works, but when one kids wanders off a little you might not automatically know who is missing (especially when you have so many to keep up with!) 

One of my teammates (shout out Lynnette!) did this last year and it is SO SMART! 
All you'll need to do is print a class list in 2 columns. Attach to a clipboard and write your kids' names on a clothespin. When you are lining up at the end of the day, instead of the child having to keep up with a Popsicle stick, or putting it in his/ her mouth, using it as a sword (you know they will!!) just clip the clothespin to their backpack strap. 

THEN, as your kids leave you take the clothespin off and clip it by their name on your clipboard. That way you know who you've dismissed and who is still waiting...or wandered into another line.
I'm super excited to use this routine this year! I hope this tip helps you, too!



  1. That is a super duper idea!! Thanks for sharing it Nicole & I hope you have a great first day with the kids tomorrow! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. Great idea! I use clothes pins as a part of my behavior management, so they can grab their clothespin on the way out.

    PS - count yourself lucky to be capped at 22. Our cap is 30!!!! DOUBLE EEK!!!!!!!

    1. I have 33 in my class!!!! Welcome to California!

  3. Wow what a great idea! Sending positive thoughts your way that you get another teacher hired! It will make a world of difference!

    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

  4. This is awesome! Especially with sooooo many kiddos! Yikes! My numbers are low and I am loving it but am pretty sure it's gonna end soon:/ Hoping you'll link this up with Monday Made It:) It's gotten smaller but still loving seeing what everyone else is doing:) Good luck with your first week. We don't have school tomorrow due to the hurricane:/ It's been a looooooong weekend!

    4th Grade Frolics

  5. This is a great idea! I go back to school tomorrow too..have an awesome day! :)

  6. Happy back to school!! In Michigan we don't start until after Labor Day, so I have one more week of summer to enjoy. A lot of it will be spent in my classroom getting ready for my 24 Kindies! We cap at 26, but thankfully I've never had that many. Usually 23 or 24. And we're switching to an all day program this year. SO excited about that and how much more time I'll have with my kidlets!

    OH! And I use 5th graders to help with dismissal. We call them our "bus buddies" and they pair up with the Kindies to make sure they make it to the right place. Works awesome!! Enjoy your week with your class!

  7. I totally feel your pain on the class size. Our class limit is 18 and we all started the year with 25 on our rosters! I got lucky and only 20 of mine showed up but my teammates were bursting at the seems until we started the new class. Now we will probably need to make ANOTHER class because kiddos are still registering and we are about 10 over still!!

    For dismissal, we split our kids up between the 3 rooms in our pod. All bus riders go with 1 teacher, daycare with another, and walkers/car with a third. The first we few weeks of school we actually put a sticker (address labels) on each kid with their name, and a colored dot sticker. One color for bus, another for daycare, another for car. Its a lot of sticker making and sticking at the start of the year but its a really easy way to make sure that you have who you need to have where they need to be. I know if I see a green dot I have a rouge car rider who wandered in with my bus riders :)

  8. We have 11 buses so each bus is a different color sticker and they go to a bus room (K and 1 - thankfully we have 11 of those, too). Our assistants and 5thgraders dismiss walkers, car riders, daycare, karate, etc... This year we made new bus signs to match the colored dots and be better seen from the long hallway. Our team leader used the white reinforcers colored with marker for the colors we didn't have dots in. Last year we had the same overflow problem and went from 5 to 6 Kinder classes in October. Thankfully we all have 20-21 this year. We start next week.

  9. This is definitely a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  10. Love this idea

    So simple and easy to do

    Last year we were a relatively small school with around 400 students in grades PK-5

    This year we grew to almost 800 hundred due to rezoning and our dismissal for the for two weeks or school were hectic to say the lest

    Pocket Full of Kinders

    Shuna P

  11. What a super idea! Good luck tomorrow :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  12. If that isn't like an "a-ha" moment. What a fantastic way to keep track of everybody! Thanks for sharing! We have started off the last 2 school years with 3 to 5 more students than our "cap" so I feel you. And yes, once you get the relief teacher, it makes a huge difference in your day. But as teachers we just naturally rise to the challenges we are faced with and then when your class is reduced it will seem even easier... Good luck with all those sweeties tomorrow.

  13. Hi happy thoughts for u on the way..i teach K in NY Long Island last year our assistants were taken away and then we each had 26 kids. They made very little $, but it saved the district so much money, make sense? Yeah, NO! Ok so i teach in ny , yeah we make a lot of money (lol) but K teachers need the extra hands. My team is made up of 4 teachers and then ME! forgive the grammar, spelling and punctuation errors but school starts next week and i am in a hurry (lol) So...we only have cubbie space and desks/chairs for 24. I had a small table 4 two on the side..affectionately called THE ANNEX TABLE. What a year. Hey we did it, yeah now we proved we dont need help, really? It's just that failure is not an option. So this year , so far ,,, we have 24 each....u know the drill!!!! I have been a teacher for 23 yrs and i LOVE my profession. With that said i sent all K teachers prayers and happy thoughts for this school year. Sisters.. we have the best job EVER!!! BTW our class cap 29!!!!

  14. That's a great idea! We switch out weekly from bus to car duty. Car riders go outside to the front of the school and sit in a line with their grade level so we are all right there together. Once their ride is close they are called to stand by a certain teacher and then go to their car. Our school is small so it works!

  15. Will be saying a prayer for you- do the same for me! SAME situation... 5 classes 27+ kiddos. Our principal has planned to split after tomorrow if they show up (gotta wait for the little bodies to be in the room)... this happens to us every year though, we are sort of becoming pros! Good Luck!! =)

    Miss Augustine's Kindergarten

  16. Be thankful for a cap....we don't have one and I have 34 kids so far. I hate dismissal. It is my least favorite part of the day. Kids are so excited to go home. They all go to different places. And every year someone ends up on the wrong bus. Someday it is going to be a peaceful exit!

    Chickadee Jubilee


Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!

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