Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Potty Words!

Are you new to teaching kindergarten? If so, I'm going to let you in on a little secret:

Along with words like "developmentally appropriate practice," "curriculum," "intrinsic motivation," "snack time" and "recess," you will more than likely be using the words pee and poop.


Sure, you'll reference "number one" and "number two," and you might even try the fancier sounding "urinate" or "b.m." You might ask your students to indicate their need to go to the bathroom by raising fingers, or just try to teach them to say "May I use the bathroom/restroom please?"

But one day, mark my words, you will end up having to use the simplest and most highly descriptive of words to communicate with one, several, or all of your students, because not all of them will understand the more polite references.

Without further ado, repeat after me:

"Why did you decide to pee all over the floor?"

"When you leave poop on the seat, no one else can use the toilet."

"No sweetheart, poop is not paint."

Consider yourself warned.


Do you have a student who is scared of self-flushing toilets? Have him/her use a post-it-note to cover the sensor! S/he can use the commode, wipe, get up, pull up underwear and pants, step away and THEN remove the post-it-note so the toilet will flush. No more worrying about the potty sucking you down the drain!


Make sure families know they can keep a spare set of clean underwear, pants and socks at school for their child. I ask families to put the clothes in a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie with the child's name written on it. If an accident occurs, my student can quickly change into the dry outfit, and the wet clothes can be zipped closed and sent home in the baggie.



  1. Anonymous7:14 PM

    We use one of those many pocketed shoe organizers hung on the wall to keep extra clothes. It keeps us from digging through all those bags in a tote looking for a specific child's clothes.

  2. That's a great idea! In my classroom we have enough room in closets or cubbies to store clothes, which helps since the students themselves can get their change of clothes when an accident happens. In rooms with limited storage, the shoe organizers would be ideal!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. hmmm, where did you ever get the post-it note idea? ;)

  4. From YOU and a former colleague in Alaska! The school nurse LOVES the idea too! :)

  5. Anonymous8:36 PM

    I wish I would've know the post-it note trick during VBS this summer. One of my students just couldn't handle "the noise."

  6. Isn't it funny the questions and sentences that come out of our mouths??? Sometimes I think, "I never thought this sentence would ever leave my lips..."

  7. Anonymous8:46 PM

    The toilets in my boy's and girl's bathrooms sound like jet engines when they flush. They aren't automatic fortunately. I CAN tell when someone didn't flush though. I don't know what it is, but this year I have a bunch of kids who have to SING while they are in the bathroom. It's the funniest thing.

  8. Heh heh heh, several years ago I had a young man who was a singer too- it was always the ABC song for "number one" and always "Row, row, row, your boat..." for "number two."

    Always! :)

  9. Oh..this is bringing back way to many memories from my Para days. lol


As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!