PODCAST: Transitions for Beginners

PODCAST: Transitions for Beginners


it seems like in my own classroom and
classrooms I’ve had the pleasure of visiting there’s always a few times a
day where transitions get tricky whether it’s children not knowing what the
expectations are or knowing where they are supposed to go but no adult is
present when they get there either way things can quickly feel like they are
spiraling out of control this item time often leads to children
having challenging behaviors and valuable time being lost even as adults
if we aren’t engaged in an activity we will find something to do to fill our
time you know we mess around on Facebook we might play a game on our phone or
look at Instagram or doodle and so on the only difference between adults and
children is we are a bit further along with our self-regulation skills if
children aren’t engaged it’s natural for them to want to pester the person next
to them or move for entertainment well those transitions may only last a
minute or two they do add up when we stop and think about all the times
removing children from one activity to the next we really become aware of all
the time that’s lost often programs are only two and a half hours and there’s a
lot of stuff we’re trying to cover in that time being mindful of even the
smallest amount of time lets us be more intentional in making sure there is
something happening that builds children’s skills and knowledge in my
own classroom and classrooms I have visited there are a few times the days
where transitions become more challenging the first one I tend to
notice is after breakfast or your morning snack the children are finishing
up at different rates and we’re trying to clean up and majority of the
classroom that I’ve been in large group follows this time so children are sent
to the carpet to look at a book while you know we’re picking up and finished
wrapping up the meal but they start out looking at the book quietly but then
they start to get a little silly so if at all possible an adult needs to go
over as soon as there are two to three children at the carpet and really engage
with the children and the books talk about their favorite books look at the
pictures read to them doesn’t make sure that it’s a it’s a very meaningful time
and not just time filler another idea instead of books are just having the
children choose finger plays or songs you can have them on a d-ring and they
can come up I can hold it up and it could be a job
for the day you know the song chooser or however you choose to do it and just do
this until the majority of the children are at the carpet but not all of the
children need to be at the carpet for large group to start another time that
appears to get chaotic and sometimes frustrating is clean up from centers the
children are engaged and enjoying the freedom of playing with materials they
want and it’s hard to stop and come back together as a group dimming the lights
are ringing a bell and giving the children a five-minute warning will help
children start to wrap up what they are doing and lesson prepare for the
transition once you’ve started the clean up transition use flannel board
activities and games to speed up the process one of my children’s favorite
games was called little mouse little mouse you had paper houses of different
colors and a little paper mouse and you’d have the children hide their eyes
and you’d hide the mouse behind one of the houses and then you say little mouse
little mouse are you in the and the children would open their eyes and try
to guess what house the mouse was hid behind this is always something that the
children wanted to be involved in and they would hurry up the process so they
could come over and play a round or two before we moved on to our next activity lastly lines can be bothersome for both
children and teachers it never seems to feel that everybody has all lined up
ready to go and somebody needs to use the bathroom or we’re trying to get on
coats and hats and boots and it just takes a lot of time to avoid children
starting to get antsy while they wait for their friends to be ready to go sing
a quick round who stole the cookies from the cookie jar it’s a game that involves
the active listening and they get to decide you know who stole them and they
get to pick the next person and it’s something that just keeps them occupied
another option would be mighty minutes if you use creative curriculum these are
really handy to use while you’re waiting in line for the next activity and if you
don’t have ninety minutes you can easily make your own they’re just little Rhymes
activities songs that just fill the time and work on basic skills so transitions
are inevitable and that’s something that children are going to have to deal with
no matter where they’re at whether they’re at home with their parents if
they’re at school to us they have transitions and they’re going to have
them throughout their entire life for the time that they are with us if we are
intentional in the way that we teach these transitions and we make sure that
they know the expectations for each step and that they have something to do when
they get there then we can ensure that our day and our children’s days run a
lot smoother

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