school- cube system

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by ljcrochet, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yesterday DD came home and was upset that she ran out of cubes and couldn't go to the bathroom.  We started to talk about the cube system. Turns out the get 9 cubes.  bathroom visit is 2 cubes, tissue is 1, water fountain is 1, pencil sharpener is 1.  If parents don't' sign the hw agenda that is also 1 cube.
    In talking, she said she gone to the bathroom twice already that day.  I asked her why she didn't go during  lunch.  She doesn't like the lunch bathroom and it has a bee hive in it.  
    Another mom in the class posted this on facebook:
    Turns out that 3 of the 4th grade classes are all doing this cube system.  From talking to my other DD, i think the cube system is a carryover from what they are doing in social studies with taxation.   SHe wasn't feeling great and I picked up her up early from school. She was asking questions about why we have taxes.  
    Then we go to talking about the school budget, how they have to pick and choose how to spend the money.  She said they should spend the money to buy air fresheners for the bathroom.  I asked her if she would rather air fresheners or the science lab.  Without a hesitation, she said the science lab.  
  2. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Wow, I've never heard of that system.  I would be upset if my child was denied restroom breaks or Kleenexes (especially if I cannot send some in when my kid is sick), or if my child lost a cube because I didn't sign the agenda.  I never sign my kids' homework logs now, it's not something that I ever think of.  What happens when they run out of cubes?  Are they not allowed to blow their noses or go to the bathroom?  Do they get to bank the extras? 
  3. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I would be upset if my kid was denied bathroom breaks.  I have one anxious kid who drinks a lot of water and actually needs to use the bathroom... and if she is in a situation where she can't use the bathroom, she starts to freak out.  Is this something new or something that was started at the beginning of the school year?  Is it because kids were abusing the opportunities to get out of their seat (bathroom, tissue, water, pencil sharpener)? I would email the teacher to ask what is going on and that your daughter was upset because she wasn't allowed to use the bathroom.  Not cool!
  4. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    We've had similar systems some years.  At our school there is opportunity to use the restroom, get a drink, tissue etc before school starts, during passing (transition to reading class), during passing again (transition back to homeroom), before recess, during recess, after recess, before lunch, during lunch, after lunch, and at the end of school.  K and 1st also get the chance to go before and after afternoon recess and at least one other designated time.  The 'payment' system is to discourage serial bathroom/tissue/sharpener abusers from interrupting the class and their own learning.  In our experience, when my kids (who generally don't get up without a good reason) have had a genuine need, they have been allowed to go for 'free'.  Bees in the bathroom really need to be reported and removed.  If they had a cold I'd explain the situation to the teacher and if they still didn't allow private tissues, I'd have my child take about ten tissues at a time and keep a little rubbish bag in her desk for used ones, and they always have a small pack in their backpacks anyway. 
    Signing of homework journals is an exercise in responsibility and to keep parents informed.  The student is supposed to ask their parent/guardian to sign the journal and check off that the homework has been done. I guess it also discourages last minute frantic scribbling just before the morning bell rings, though I did have to write a note last week that someone left her protractor at school and would get to school early the next morning to finish those questions.  Its also used for any messages between teacher and parent.  So, losing a cube/point/token for not having it signed is not punishing the student for the parent's negligence, but for their own.  Though, for us it has always been about getting a point for a signature rather than losing one for not having it.
    I think that teachers, on the whole, are pretty reasonable people and if a parent explains a genuine need (bladder issues, illness etc) and its evident that the student is not one to take advantage, they will find a mutually agreeable solution.
  5. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    My mom taught 3rd grade for years.  Figuring out who takes advantage (always out of their seat for bathroom, water, sharpen pencils) is part of the job.  So is managing the overuse.  Figuring out legit needs is also part of the job (little Sally has never asked and does one day probably legit).  Letting a teacher know about special circumstances is part of the parents job.  Kids get lots of opportunities to use the bathroom during the day.  If a child asked constantly my mom would watch that they were going during the class break. Were they up all the time for other things.  Some kids are jack in the boxes.   If they weren't she watched for excessive water drinking.  This actually led her to alert 2 different kids parents of a possible problem.  Both kids ended up diagnosed with type 1 diabetes quickly.  One ended up in the ER that night.  My mom brought up concerns and the parents then started talking about what they saw at home and bedwetting.  The parents didn't realize it was a sign of diabetes.  A good teacher pays attention, knows the kids and brings concerns to parents attention and can manage the classroom.  Parents should do the same.  If a child has a runny nose and the parent has no tissue to send that morning then just email the teacher.  Let the teacher know that you will pick up Kleenex for the kid and the classroom to send the next day.  If the teacher is reasonable it shouldn't be a problem.  The teacher doesn't want their germs either.  If it is an issue then I'd ask for a conference because that is not healthy.
    I would definitely report the beehive to the school.  That needs to be taken care of ASAP.  You don't want an allergic kid encountering bees in the bathroom.
    You just can't manage a room with 20-25 kids who are all getting up constantly.  Its disruptive and chaotic.  It just doesn't work and then parents would complain when their kids are not learning.  I'd email the teacher to find out how often they have breaks and can take care of these needs without turning in a cube.  See why they started the cube thing (perhaps the whole class was having jack in the box issues) and if you do have concerns about it talk to the teacher.  I am NOT a fan of this type of system. I don't think its the best method to manage the classroom but I'm not in that classroom so I don't know what is going on that made the teacher decide to try this system.   I have Inflammatory Bowl Disease (not irritable bowl syndrome).  At my worst I can be in the bathroom every 30 minutes.  Sometimes less.  So I totally get legit concerns. 
  6. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I have IBD too (Crohn's) and it wasn't diagnosed until I was 20, but my symptoms started in grade school... If I was not allowed to use the bathroom when I needed to, there would have been a big problem :( We are monitoring one of my girls (hopefully she won't develop it), but she needs to be able to use the bathroom when she needs to go.  
  7. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is what the other mom posted after her son got home
  8. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Glad it got resolved.  Like I said I am not a fan of those type of systems.  It makes kids with legit problems stand out even more.  There are better methods.
  9. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't think it was supposed to be a behavior program, but more about taxes and how to use your resources. S said her teacher was only doing it for a day but D said it was supposed to be 3 days.

    Another mom said that her dd had to look something up in a book since she didn't have enough cubes for the computer.
  10. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am glad it was resolved.  I think if the teachers were trying to explain taxation in a way that kids would understand, I would have found other ways to for kids to have to use their cubes and not put the bathroom or the need for tissues in with that lesson.
  11. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I understand the point of the program, but there are so many different ways to implement.  But, bathroom and tissues should not be part of it--and yes, I do have a student who we deny bathroom breaks at times, but that is one student, and because he will claim he needs to use the bathroom to avoid work.  Instead, use the cubes for stuff like pencil sharpening, getting drinks of water, going to get forgotten things from cubbies.  I think that would teach the lesson much better than bathroom and tissues.
    2 people like this.
  12. threebecamefive

    threebecamefive Well-Known Member

    I despise any teacher denying a child the right to use the restroom. The only accidents one of my kids has had was at school - in Kindergarten and 2nd grade. I've heard all the arguments for implementing these power struggles. I still don't agree. If you have good classroom management (for example, a basic rule, they can't leave during instructional time unless it's an emergency, and yeah, you have to take the child's word for said emergency), you're not going to have 25 kids leaving the room at all times. You might have a couple that "abuse" the system. But what does that mean? Does it mean they ask to use the restroom when they don't really need to? So what? Let them get up and walk to the bathroom and back. Obviously the child needed a break. The work is still getting done, there is no disruption to the class (goes back to good classroom management that should already be in place), and you have relaxed students that are ready to work and learn..

    Unless a child has proven to cause trouble when they leave for a bathroom break, I truly do not understand why some teachers choose this area to get in a power struggle with a child.

    ** I just re read the thread and realized the cube "system" was part of a lesson that lasted just one day. Ooops. I don't think the bathroom use should have been part of it, but oh well. Glad it's not a system used all year. :)
  13. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'm so glad it only lasted the one day. It wasn't supposed to.
    Last night I was playing cards with dd and she said it was 2 cubes to get a deck of cards during recess.
  14. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    There is very little that gets me riled up at teachers, but I would be livid and calling the principal if my child was denied restroom privileges. If a teacher was having issues with my child getting up to use the restroom too often, that teacher should contact me to discuss and come up with a plan. You don't deny a child bathroom privileges. Period.

    I have a memory of peeing myself in the first grade because a teacher said no one else could go to the bathroom. She told my mom who had to leave work to pick me up that "she didn't mean that it included" me, but I was a rule follower and she said no one. That's a horrible thing to do to a child.
    2 people like this.
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