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How does your school institute a hall pass system? Is it only for the bathroom, or do you need a pass for the office and library too? Our school uses those bathroom placards you see outside the doors to the bathroom at restaurants. They are big, plastic and make noise when middle schoolers drop them. And they all the look the same! So there are constant all school emails looking for lost bathroom passes.
I decided to go my own way (cue the Fleetwood Mac) and make my own hall pass system. Instead of just bathroom, I created one for everywhere my kids need to go. I prepare every year to say sorry to my principal for not following directions, but luckily he doesn’t seem to mind. So, here is my system that works (most years) for my 6th graders.
Use a Word Doc & Different Color Lanyards
I created a template on a word doc after spending some time playing around with the sizing. I picked up this pack of clear lanyards from Amazon. Order the variety color pack- that way each pass can be a different color. You can then easily see where kids are when they are out of your room. I use the red for the nurse, green for the library, blue for my girls bathroom pass (I like to switch it up!), etc. You’ll also want to find a place to hang them up. I have these strong hanging magnets that I love. My front board is big and magnetic, so I keep mine there. Keep them in a place where you can easily see if a kid is trying to walk out without your permission.
Meme It Up
As an added bonus, I printed these silly science memes (click to print them!) and added them to the back of the hall passes. Science jokes usually take some more content knowledge before they are funny. So I’m trying to get my kids to love nerdy science jokes like I do. My recommendation is to find meme’s for your specific content or classroom. The kids will always pause to read them before they grab a pass. I figure it gives them some entertainment while walking to their destination as well. In 3 years, only 1 meme has been stolen. They left the front of the pass though, so I guess that was nice of them.
The Poop Free Hall Pass Promise
Part of the first day of school is to tell my kids about poop on passes. Wearing the hall passes can eliminate this poop on passes conundrum, I explain. I demonstrate how most kids carry the pass- wrapped around their hands. My kids then raise their hand and promise to wear the passes around their necks and keep them “poop free”. (6th graders still giggle at the word poop. They giggle more when they all have to say poop at the same time). But, it’s not a habit that middle schoolers pick up. Most of the time the lanyard gets wrapped around a hand. I’m 100% sure there is poop particles on all the passes. Oh well. At least I tried. I just don’t touch them after the first days of school. I recommend you don’t as well. You don’t need those poop germs in your life. .
There are some pretty PVC hall pass lanyards that look like they’ll last the year. Maybe a tad better than my current lanyards. But I know that I’ll need new ones each year (you know, to reduce the poop germs on them) and I like having my jokes on them. I’ve included my editable file for you to download so you have the size ready to go for those lanyards I linked. If you make some meme-y hall passes, tag me (@teaching.on.lipstick_n_lattes) in your pics when you post on your social
Update: This last year was the first time I had a pass be completely destroyed. Maybe a kid ate it? I’m not sure. That group of kids were really fidgety and also destroyed the table signs I had as well as the hall passes. So, I switched to a paper hall pass system for these kiddos. That way, if they eat the pass, it doesn’t affect anyone else!