Seat markers

In our 2-story school, we have 4 minute passing time. Students have complained about this from the dawn of time, but it is what it is. My room is about 80 yards from the nearest restroom (it takes me about 4 minutes to walk there, use the restroom, and walk back. I’m sometimes late to my own classes, ack!). Therefore, I am a bit more lenient/understanding of students who are tiny bit late because they had to use the restroom. What I prefer, however, is that they come to my room first, drop off their belongings, and then go. Since we are going to have iPads this year, that is going to be a mandatory procedure because federal law and school rules mandate that no iPads are allowed in the restrooms.

So that students don’t have to hunt me down or interrupt a conversation during passing time to ask permission to use the bathroom, I put together theseĀ Seat Markers. A student can simply grab one from the side table, put it at their seat, and then off they go. When class starts and I am doing attendance, I will notice the visual cue at their desk that they are in the restroom. I may even branch out this year and allow my students to grab a seat marker and excuse themselves to use the bathroom without interrupting the lesson to ask permission – we’ll have to take that on a class-by-class basis depending on behavior.

I wanted something cheap, tall, and not at all appealing for students to destroy (no toys, no cups because they’ll tap that Cups song by Anna Kendrik). I managed to make these with a lot of things that I had lying around the house:

Seat Markers (c) Kristen Dembroski

2 empty Pringles cans
Decorative Duct Tape
Plastic flowers
Small, heavy rocks/marbles, etc.
Glue gun

The final product isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing I’ve ever made, but I know it will do the job. I wrapped strips of duct tape around the can, filled it with small rocks to give it weight, poked a hole in the cover to insert the flowers, then hot-glued it all shut so they couldn’t open it.

Seat Markers (c) Kristen Dembroski

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3 Comments on Seat markers

  1. Noelle
    September 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm (9 years ago)

    So AWESOME. I would have never thought of this. I teach 7th grade, and we have a 5 minute passing period, and a very S P R E A D O U T campus. I am doing this. The kids will appreciate it. I do have one question: what about them missing part of the first activity? I do grammar first thing, so I wonder about them not getting the same amount of time, or is that on them?

  2. Noelle
    September 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm (9 years ago)

    My website is NOT the one I linked to above :/

  3. kdembro
    October 1, 2013 at 5:36 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Noelle! Thanks so much for your comment! These seat markers are working out even better than I had planned this year. I only made 2, so only 2 students can be out at a time. They usually come in about 1 minute late and start working right away, so I’m not seeing a problem with missing learning activities. And if I noticed that it was becoming a problem, even with just one particular student who abused the privilege, I would revoke their rights right away. I honestly feel that my students are so appreciative of this small freedom that they are too afraid to lose it – they are extremely respectful!
    One suggestion I have for you if you are worried about missing the grammar warmup is to set a rule about when the seat markers can be used. Maybe in your classroom, it’s only between activities, or during certain activities. I hope that works!


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