Now, as the next school year begins, the process of teaching and training the newbies starts again. In the ten years that I have taught kindergarten, I have noticed that when the newbies come in, they are often more enthralled in the newness of everything in the classroom than they are with the talking head teacher, so I came up with an idea to engage them in learning the new routines and policies. I had kindergarten students create videos to teach them so that they did not have to sit for a long period of time and listen to me try to abstractly tell them about their new life in kindergarten.
I had the kindergarteners use one of my Flip video cameras to video their friends. I asked them to be careful not to include their friends faces. At times, that was difficult for them to do the entire time, so I did have to do some editing in Windows Movie Maker (which is free on my PC and very easy to use). I was able to add music and text with that program.
In the video our class created, the students go through various episodes of hand washing. I know we have all seen our students do the quick "run through" by just rushing their hands under the water and running. We have also seen our students pump the soap dispenser empty and splash soap all over the mirrors or themselves when they think no one is looking.
One thing I would change in this video would be to have the students turn off the water and not waste the water while they were soaping their hands.
I have probably one of the funniest "hand washing" episodes to tell you about. Hand sanitizer stations were set up around our campus. They worked by just running your hand under them and they were not originally installed with a tray to catch the gel that fell. They happened to be installed at the perfect height that allowed my students to walk under them and take a sanitizer shower!! It took me awhile to figure out why they were coming back to class with more than their hands cleaned! The trays were installed shortly thereafter, so no more sanitizing showers.
One more funny: I know you NEVER miss a hand washing in your classroom, right? Right :/ Well, one day, we did, and we were in a hot foot rush to get to lunch on time, so I handed everyone a baby wipe as they lined up. They each dropped their wipe in the trash on the way out the door and received a little squeeze of hand sanitizer. One little boy said, "No thanks, Mrs. Aronen, I don't want any HAND FERTILIZER today." I LOVE when they mix up their statements like that.
I would love to hear how you introduce classroom routines and school policies at the beginning of the school year. I need all the help I can get!