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Fall Fire Drill Fun

Mrs. Mimi's Chalk Talks

Fall Fire Drill FunWe have been having some truly beautiful fall days lately. And you all know what that means – FIRE DRILLS! Yes, fire drills. 


Principals are notorious for taking advantage of the seasonable weather to get some of their mandated fire drills checked off the list. And can we blame them? We all know how good it feels to check something off your list, right?


Now if you haven’t thought about practicing your fire drill routine (or, ahem, come up with your fire drill routine) by this point of the year, it’s time to get ready! There’s nothing worse than having that alarm sound and realizing a) you never told them what to do or b) you have no idea what to do or where to go. So consider this your friendly reminder. After all, we all have a million things on our plates. 


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My Fire Drill To Do List


  • Make sure you explain the purpose of a fire drill to all of your students, especially if you are working with little ones or have children who may be new to the building.
  • Explain how everyone should line up. Some things to consider: Should children walk in a single file or two by two? Do they hold hands? Does the last person close the door? Does someone need to turn out the lights? Do “line leader” and other jobs matter during a fire drill? These are all the tiny decisions you need to make. Double-check your school’s fire drill policy to ensure that your decisions are aligned with the school protocol.
  • Practice the fire drill procedure a few times without the alarm or all the other children in the hallway! 
  • Make sure you are clear with children what they should do if they happen to be in the bathroom, en route to the office or on some other sort of errand. This can be super scary. Believe me, I’ve had criers. 
  • Have a class list and a sheet of stickers by the doorway. You want to have a class list to make sure everyone is present and accounted for. You want to have stickers to motivate friends to follow directions. 


You know what always drives me bananas during fire drills? Noisy teachers. 


You know who I’m talking about – those adults who talk freely to whoever is standing near them (even though we should all be silent) and then YELL at children to do as they say and not as they do. 

My Hallway Behavior Management Trick

Many years ago, one of my fabulous colleagues taught me a little trick to help ensure that my little friends remain quiet during this important school ritual. And all it takes is a set of Popsicle sticks and a marker.  

Get one Popsicle stick for each child in your class. Write a child’s name on each Popsicle stick. (I used to number my students, so I numbered the Popsicle sticks instead to save, then I could reuse them year after year.) Keep the Popsicle sticks in a jar by the door.


On your way out, grab one stick and keep it hidden up your sleeve or in your pocket. Tell the children that you will be paying extra special attention to the person whose name or number is on the Popsicle stick. If that child follows all the rules and sets an example for others, he or she will receive a special prize when you return to class.


(Note: this trick also works wonders for improving general hallway behavior!) The prize doesn’t have to be anything crazy or expensive either – a nice note home on fancy stationary, a sticker, a snazzy pencil – whatever! I don’t question it, it just works.


What are your tricks for keeping control in the hallway or at special events like fire drills? Share in the comments section!

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