This being the beginning of the year, I'm not too fussy yet about my students using the washroom when they need. Last year, I had a strict emergency-only policy during class time, and it was a bit annoying constantly reminding my students of the most appropriate times to leave the room. So this year, I have a simple routine that looks like this:
My students use the W sign for washroom or water so as not to disrupt the class. (Basically, if it's a lesson, I turn the sign to "now now.") Since I know that sometimes kids just can't wait, we use the W turned sideways to show an E for emergency! It's working so wonderfully. Today I forgot to flip the sign to "not now" before I started the Math lesson, and when one girl put her W high in the air, I didn't break my talk to say "oops, sorry, not now..." but simply turned the sign around and she immediately put her hand down. I have three sets for around my room because I am often standing in different areas. I'm loving this! Click the picture to grab it.