If you are a teacher you probably know what I am talking about. I am talking about the water fountain lines after recess that are 18 miles long with the horrible chants like “1, 2, 3, that’s enough for me.” If you use this chant to take turns at the water fountain, sorry to offend…. but I still remember when that chant was used on ME in elementary school, and I was still thirsty. So I can only imagine that sometimes my kindergarteners are still thirsty too! (When you have just been running outside, is 3 seconds enough for you? Not that I run. Ever. But I know I would still be thirsty.) Plus, water fountains kind of gross me out. Just sayin’.
Then there is the bring your water bottle from home, which I like, however, when the same bottle gets left at school for 8 weeks and no one is claiming it, I don’t like it anymore.
Plus, I don’t have desks to store the bottles in, or assigned table spots to put the bottles on the table groups. I certainly don’t want kids back and forth at their backpacks all day, so I knew I had to come up with something.
So…. introduce the water bins! Life savers I tell you. Getting a drink of water in my classroom has never been easier and more time efficient! These work best for me because I do not have assigned seating in my room at all. These could also work for you if you have assigned desks or have table groups to place them on!
I bought 6 matching bins (I think I even got these from the dollar store, and they have held up very well!) and I put a big label on the front (animal print for me because it matches the room!).
Now, one more VERY important thing that I also learned the hard way!! Do not put all of your bins in one area! You will have traffic jams after recess, trust me. I place my bins in random areas of the room. One on the back counter, 2 by the front sink, etc. (I have a lot of sinks in my room because it is a portable. The pictures below are actually different areas of the room!). Excuse the mess…. we did a paint project. Just keepin’ it real for you – my counters don’t stay clear all the time in kindergarten. 🙂
When students come in from recess, no more waiting in line at the water fountain. No more crowding around backpacks to dig out water bottles. They know exactly where their bin is, they walk right to it, get a drink, and then go about their business.
I honestly have not had any trouble with this system as far as drinking or filling water at inappropriate times. Students know that water bottle filling happens at snack and recess and that is plenty. They also know they are allowed to get a drink during a transition if the need to, and during a work period if it is really necessary. It really is about building up that trust with them and giving them the responsibility to self manage.
Well, there you have it – how I manage water in a simple way that allows kids not to be thirsty and allows me to focus on things besides monitoring drinks! I hope you enjoyed this course of “Waterbottles 101.” 🙂
How do you do water in your classroom? Do you have a water fountain or do you already have a system like this in place?