Every school day has transitions. Students switch from subject to subject, center to center, inside to outside etc. How do we ensure smooth transitions in kindergarten without a lot of chaos? Here are some of my ideas for intentional and purposeful smooth transitions in kindergarten.
How many times a day do your students transition? Do you even count how many? If you are like most of us kindergarten teachers, we just move our kids from center to center, or activity to activity without considering how many times a day this happens. Sometimes the transitions are smooth and other times we must be traffic cops or cattle herders trying to get the students to the next activity without a lot of chaos. Class time would be a dream if all students lined up quietly, moved in tandem, and ended at the next activity without fuss and began working without any interruption. Fantasy world!!!
However, if you are prepared with smooth transition techniques, your chaos will be maintained at a tolerable level. Having a plan and being prepared is the key!!
The transitions will go much more smoothly when your kiddos know exactly what is expected. Make sure you are clear and concise with your rules, expectations and consequences.
See blog post “Classroom Management Anchor Charts” for more ideas and information on classroom management.
Have your daily schedule visible for your students. This lets them know what and when a change will be occurring.
These editable schedule cards are a simple way to prepare your students for schedule changes during the day. Just download, edit for your schedule, print and go!
I love to use Light Boxes to show parents and students our daily schedule. Once again, students will know what to expect during the day making the transitions go more smoothly.
Now for the actual transition from one activity to another. Make sure your students are aware of the change, where they are going, and how much noise they should be making.
- Have an activity change warning phrase.
- Remind students of where they are going next.
- Remind students of noise level.
Academic Callbacks and Attention Getters
Academic callbacks are a perfect way to announce any transitional change. Not only are these callbacks effective, they can be meaningful and reinforce academic topics being taught. See blog post “Academic Callbacks and Attention Getters For Kindergarten” for more ideas. This is a way to get your little learners to stop, pay attention, and prepare for the next activity or transition taking place.
If you have a plan and are prepared for transitions in your kindergarten classroom, your students will be prepared as well.