Classroom Dismissal Procedures and Routines for Elementary Teachers – 2024

Is dismissal crazy in your classroom? I know dismissal was the craziest time of day in my classroom for a long time. Transitions are always challenging, but there was so much to do in those final minutes that it was always hard to make sure everyone had what they needed and were safely sent home the way their parents had intended. By implementing strategies and tools and solid procedures and routines, I was able to end my days calmly and happily in my classroom and took great comfort in knowing my students were where they belonged after dismissal. Read below to learn how to transform your dismissal time using classroom dismissal procedures and routines!

Classroom Dismissal Procedures and Routines

You may need to adjust this procedure based on your specific school’s routines and your grade level, but I encourage you to use the system below as a starting off point.

  1. Ask students to clean up the center or activity they are working on. They can signal when they are ready by standing behind their pushed-in chair.
  2. Dismiss students by table when a full table is showing they are ready. If you have desks, you could silently tap a students desk to show they are ready. If the whole class is ready, then you could dismiss students by birthday month, number of syllables in there first name, number of siblings, first letter of their name, student number, etc. For example, you could say, “If your student number is an even number less than 9, then you may pack up.”
  3. When students are called, they go to their mailboxes and get their folders and any papers that need to go home. They bring the folders to their desks and put all the papers in their folders.
  4. Next, students get their belongings from their cubbies and bring them back to their desks.
  5. Students then put their folders into their backpacks.
  6. Students bring all their belongings to the rug and sit quietly waiting for all of their classmates to sit on the rug.
  7. Read aloud a story to your students, play a quiet game or activity, play quiet music, or encourage students to talk quietly amongst their friends.
  8. When students hear the announcement saying they are dismissed, students say goodbye to the teacher with a high five, handshake, hug, etc. It could be helpful to teach students to make eye contact when saying goodbye.

10 Tips for School Dismissal

Below are 10 tips for managing and organizing school dismissal.

1. Find Out How Students are Going Home Before School Starts

If you have the opportunity to meet your students and their families before the first day of school, ask families how their child will be getting home the first day of school. It can be helpful to collect this information on a class list form. You can carry this form on a clipboard with you or leave it on a table where families check in and collect other helpful information. You can add a little treat for them for a special touch (e.g. little water bottles with a cute label, mints, or goldfish).

2. Ask Students How They are Getting Home on the First Day

On the first day, confirm with students how they are getting home. If there is inconsistency between how you think they are getting home and how they think they are getting home, then contact the main office.

3. Explain and Model the Classroom Dismissal Procedure

Explicitly teach your end of the day routine the first day of school. Model, have a student or group of students model, and give your students opportunities to practice the routine.

4. Maintain Consistent Routines

Maintain consistent routines throughout the year. This will promote independence amongst your students.

5. Post a Dismissal Chart

Post a dismissal chart so students can reference it to know how they are getting home each day. Check out the one I use in my classroom below!

Why Teachers Need a Dismissal Chart

  • It alleviates the stress of dismissal and the end of the school day and relieves students’ anxiety about how to they will get home.
  • Students will have a visual reminder when their dismissal routine changes.
  • It’s easy for substitutes, aides, and guest teachers to see where the students need to go at the end of the day.
  • Students will know the routine of where to look when they are wondering how they are getting home.
  • They will be able to see which of their classmates is traveling home the same way and can partner up with them.
As you get ready to go back to school, think about the organization and management strategies you have for dismissal to make sure you know how students get home. Use anchor charts, displays, bulletin boards and other simple strategies from the Clutter Free Classroom.  #classroomsetup #classroomdesign
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What is Included

  • Editable Dismissal Charts/Tables
  • Editable Labels
  • Editable Display Pieces
  • Outer Circle for Mounting

Why Teachers Love This Dismissal Chart

  • The resource includes tons of options to choose from.
  • They are editable so you can alter the wording to suit your specific needs (i.e. car riders vs parent pickup vs personal vehicles).
  • The display is versatile: hang them, mount them above a pocket chart and put student names on cards, attach it to your whiteboard and hand-write the names, use pinch-style clothes pins, etc.
  • You’ll save time and money since it costs less to purchase this resource than it would cost to buy the materials to make it yourself.
  • They can be used with any classroom theme or color scheme.

How to Make the Dismissal Chart

In order to make the chart, I recommend printing the resources on card stock, mounting them on colorful paper, laminating and cutting them, securing them on ribbon, and posting them on the wall where students can see them.

6. Assign the Dismissal Chart as a Classroom Job

If you are using a dismissal chart, have one of your students manage clearing it as one of his or her classroom jobs during your morning routine. 

7. Use Clothespins with Student Numbers

Again, if you are using a dismissal chart, use clothespins labeled with students’ numbers. If a child will be going home a different way than usual on a given day, move their clip to the appropriate location. This also allows you to reuse the clothespins year after year.

8. Play Find It and Fix It

Have your students play Find It and Fix It as part of the dismissal routine to help you clean your classroom at the end of the day.

9. Invite Students to Engage in a Quiet Activity

Invite students to participate in a quiet and relaxing activity at the end of the day or use this time to read aloud a book to them. This will provide an opportunity for students to decompress at the end of the day and hear the announcements with ease.

10. Say Goodbye to Your Students at the End of the Day

Just as you greet students at the beginning of the day, be sure to say goodbye to each of your students. It could be as simple as a high five, wave, or hug.

In closing, I hope you found these classroom dismissal procedures and routines tips and ideas helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

classroom dismissal procedures and routines As you get ready to go back to school, think about the organization and management strategies you have for dismissal to make sure you know how students get home. Use anchor charts, displays, bulletin boards and other simple strategies from the Clutter Free Classroom.  #classroomsetup #classroomdesign
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