Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Transitions Linky Party

Little Miss Kindergarten is hosting a linky party on transitions. She talks about using music as a tool for transitions which is something I have done many times with great results. I loved her idea of making a play list in order of your daily transitions. Awesome idea! You should check out her post.

I recently posted a song that I made up. It goes to the tune of Frere Jaques and I use it for transitioning to the rug. I am reposting that here and sharing a few other tips.

It is time now

It is time now

To sit down

To sit down

Boys and girls are learning

Boys and girls are learning

On the rug

On the rug

I usually sing this at least twice and will announce the last round before starting it. Sometimes, I will still have a straggling student. When that happens I will directly ask that student to come to the rug and then I will slowly count up from zero. The number I get to is how many times that student and I will practice the procedure later. This has always solved my problem with students waiting until the last second to start wrapping up there activity.

Another tip for transitions is having some sort of call and response. This year I used a clapping pattern. I would clap a beat. The class would repeat it. Everyone would catch on quickly that I needed their attention without me having to raise my voice.

Another tip is to teach the kids that when you give directions they cannot start until you give an end signal. For example, I might tell the kids that I want them to get their books out and open them up to page 29. Then I would say, "go ahead" before they begin. That way everyone hears all of the directions.

I also would remind students (while pointing at my eyes, ears, & mouth) that I wanted to see their eyes on me, their ears listening, and their mouths closed prior to giving directions.

My last tip would be to play a little game. In the halls we play Quiet Mouse when we are waiting. To play this game you pick one student who is doing the right thing to be quiet mouse. That student gets out of line and looks for the quietest person to choose as the next quiet mouse.

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