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Water Bottles

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by rachaelevans89, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. I am an NQT- just started my NQT year and I have some problem with water bottles.

    Basically (esp at the moment) children are coming in from the yard after lunch wanting a drink because it's hot and they've been running around. That's fine. But i'm finding it difficult to manage.

    The water bottles are kept near the sink so it would mean 20 children standing near the sink all at once. This can't happen as they are already quite a fussy class, so this would lead to chaos/arguments etc, and they are enough trouble in the afternoon without getting worked up about water bottles.

    In the past children have asked me as they're coming in 2/3 children and i've said yes as it wasn't many, but it seems as soon as other children see that they all want a go and I have children shouting out "i want a drink" "i need a drink" "i'm thirsty".

    I've tried letting them go 3/4 at a time, but this takes up lots of lesson time as children take a long time finding their bottle, filling it up if need be and finally drinking.

    I need to know this really for next year, as I have a difficult class next year.

    In one of my placement schools, they just had their water bottles on their desks, but I don't think the school allows it.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Or tell me how they manage it?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Could you not have one or two 'water bottle monitors' whose responsibility it is to fill up the bottles after break? I'm not primary, but it's just an idea. If the children like doing tasks, then maybe you could rotate the duty so Mondays it's Katie and Ryan, Tuesdays it's Mike and Jessica etc.

    As for having bottles of water on the desk, I would just let the kids do this until someone tells you otherwise! As long as it is only water, and not juice or something else which will be sticky if it spills, I don't see a problem!
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with ABD's idea of water bottle monitors.

    Let the kids have the bottles of water on the desk, but explain to them about caps being on and taking care etc... it's the only way they will learn and as ABD says there really isn't a problem. Just ensure you have a roll of paper towels in your desk!

    In secondary, when kids want to go out of the room to fill up their bottles in very hot weather, I get one or two students to take the other students' out to fill and every time they have done it responsibly.

    Have a great holiday and all the best for your class next year.

  4. What age group are you teaching? I don't really like mine having water bottles on the tables, because they have a tendency to spill things...(and there's already too much stuff on their tables for my liking anyway). Mine keep their bottles by the sink. They are, however, allowed to get up and get a drink whenever they are working...so, when I'm not needing their attention. It usually doesn't cause an issue and means they don't all go at the same time.

    After break, I read a story for a few minutes, which gives them time to sort themselves out quietly. They get their water bottle, sit on the carpet or in their seat for the few minutes, chill and calm down a little... and then put it away again at the end. We do something similar after lunch. I don't find it much of an issue.

    Monitors might be a good idea, depending on how you organise your class. (Wouldn't work for me, because I don't have monitors for anything.)
  5. I teach Year R, the pupils fill their water bottle up in the morning when they come into school and are sorting their things out. We have water bottle holders(for 6 bottles / a plastic carry holder) spread around the room for each group. This really helps as each water bottle holder is clearly labelled, so the children are searching for their bottle amongst 6, not 30! Also can easily be taken outside for PE etc.
  6. I have had water bottles on the tables but I really don't like it. In fact I hate them with a passion and really don't see the need for them. The children (year 4) can't seem to leave them alone, sipping out of them all day. Also had lots of spillages . I'm going to put them in baskets next year which can be put on the table before break/lunch/home time by monitors so that they can have a drink (not that they should need it as there are water fountains in the playground). They'll be removed from the tables during lessons. Hopefully out of sight, out of mind and less distraction all round.
  7. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    How ridiculous. When did a child last die of de-hydration in this country? How many people on this forum had water bottles at school? I was told on PGCE training that it was totally unprofessional to drink in front of a class. Therefore why is it acceptable for children to be constantly drinking during lessons? They can drink before school, they can drink at break, they can drink at lunch time. They can drink at the end of school.They are not likely to die of dehydration in between these times. The most that they would be without water is about 2 hours.

    I know that I am totally out of sync with modern child centred teaching but I think that it is time that SMT got with it and banned drinking in class.
  8. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

  9. Elsasupport

    Elsasupport New commenter

    I would find it hard to concentrate and learn if I was thirsty. Could they take their bottles outside and drink at playtime especially in hot weather? Bring them in five minutes earlier? Or sit them on the carpet to begin your lesson with their bottles?
  10. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I'm in secondary so probably can't imagine the amount of fuss that it causes in primary.

    My only real line on water in class is 'be sensible'.

    My room gets very hot and I have a water bottle on the go. I don't like them on the tables because they're a distraction but don't mind if (when I'm not addressing the class) someone nips in their bag and has a quick drink.

    I'd quickly take issues if students were drinking anything other than water (someone once tried to drink a milkshake! It was put in the bin.), flicking the bottles, picking the labels off, cracking the plastic, drinking so much that they start requesting to fill them up/go to the bathroom etc. Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often. I think I'd quickly lose patience if it got in the way of learning.
  11. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I agree, purplecarrot.

    This year I've had water bottles out on tables because I hadn't even thought of it as a possible issue. But when some pupils have been silly with them and they have proved a distraction, I've asked them to put them back in their bags.

    This year I think I'll take your approach - keep them in bags, but not ban drinking during lesson time full-stop. I expect this will reduce the number of pupils constantly swigging water because it's a work avoidance strategy, but still allow those who are generally thirsty (and my room's boiling - it's basically a greenhouse) to have a drink.

    They've learnt this year that they're not allowed to go to the toilet (though I use my judgement on this - the answer is always no the first time, then I think about it) or to fill their water bottles up (once it's gone, it's gone until break/lunch), so they should be able to learn to keep bottles in their bag too.
  12. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Sounds sensible myrtille. Once they realise that it's not going to get them out of work, it's amazing how quickly they take responsibility.
  13. 'I was told on PGCE training that it was totally unprofessional to drink in front of a class. '

    I don't see why it is un-professional. At the beginning of lessons, the teacher might be talking more than the children, so may well need a drink.

    What irritates me about water bottles is when the children use them like dummies. I often see children with their bottle in their mouth even when it's empty.

    Generally I don't allow the children to fill up their water bottles during lesson time - I tell them they have to do that in their own time (break or lunchtime).
    caress likes this.
  14. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    sometimes sucking on something can be a self soothing and emotional self regulation tool. Sucking a sweet or chewing gum are things I do (though not in the classroom). Perhaps those students who are sucking on empty bottles are doing some self soothing, and therefore making them more likely to get some work done.

    This website might be of interest

  15. I just let them have a quick drink during registration. their water bottles are kept near their desks but not on them. They can access them freely through out they day too.
  16. annie2010

    annie2010 Occasional commenter

    Absolutely agree with saluki.

    Not so long ago, the only students allowed to sip water in lessons wee those with medical reasons.

    While an exception might be made during a heatwave-given the poor ventilation in some classrooms- during'normal' weather there is no need for constant drinking.
  17. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    Saluki Our school was a pilot school for water bottles years ago and our school and others found that drinking water aided concentration.
  18. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Could you show us some evidence? Or is this just anecdotal?

    "Pilot school for water bottles" - was there a study? Who conducted it? Prior to this "pilot" programme, were all schools anti-water?

    My school when I were a lad was a "pilot school" for the International Baccalaureate. Prior to that pilot programme no state schools offered it. I'm not sure you can say the same for water bottles.

    I hope I'm not coming across as rude - I would love to see some evidence on this. As it stands, I tried to allow them, but kids with water bottles in my lessons just made disgusting slurping noises, spilled water on their books, and otherwise made nuisances of themselves. I banned 'em forthwith as they were in my personal experience not aiding concentration.
    caress likes this.
  19. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    How was "concentration" measured? How does anyone - outside (or inside, come to that) a lab measure "concentration"?
  20. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I work as a supply teacher and the worst experience I ever had in connection with water bottles was when a year 9 student, notorious for being disruptive, decided to deliberately spill water all over the desk in front of him when I wasn't looking 30 seconds before the bell went; by the time I had noticed, he had gone.

    Now, normally I ask that water bottles be put away in bags out of sight . The other irritating thing about water bottles is when they spill in a student's bag: then paper towels, tissues, etc, have to be found and the water cleaned up. Although it is irritating, they are only kids and they learn by experience.

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