Effective Teacher Tips for Walking in Line

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“Time to line up!”… that phrase is enough to make even the most experienced Pre-K, TK, or Kindergarten teacher stress out. Now add in colorful, eye-catching bulletin boards, older students smiling and waving and a class passing at the same time as your class and this can be a recipe for disaster – but it doesn’t have to be! Check out these EFFECTIVE teacher tips for walking in line and make travel time with your students less stressful and more fun!

*For more tips on how to create a positive AND playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

Check out these EFFECTIVE teacher tips for walking in line and make travel time with your students less stressful and more fun!

Effective Teacher Tips for Walking in Line

Lining up is hard enough, but what if your class is on the opposite side of the school from the gym or library and you have a long way to travel? Oh man, every teacher (newbies and veterans) can use some line up tips that work for hallway travel in their bag of tricks because it’s something that we do every, single day.

As teachers, we know that small things can create big issues! At the beginning of the school year, many of us struggle with getting students in a line. “Lining up” isn’t something that students come to their early childhood teacher already knowing how to do. It is something that must be taught, through routines and procedures starting very early in the school year. Really taking the time and going slow when teaching your specific routines/procedures for lining up will allow you to go fast later on!

Walking in line with Pre-K and Kindergarten students can feel chaotic but it doesn't have to.

Travel Engagement is KEY!

So your kids line up okay, but travel time is a little… well… chaotic. You know the feeling of just hoping that your line doesn’t fall apart before you reach the destination. Oftentimes schools have hallway expectations so that classes aren’t disrupted when others are going by, but traveling a long distance with a giant line of four and five year olds is tricky! If you have hallway expectations to follow or a long distance to go, then travel engagement is KEY!

Travel engagement (keeping them engaged along the way) makes it so much easier! So what can you do?

Below are 3 easy ideas to make travel time with your students calmer and quicker!

1. “Walk like a…”

You can get really creative here and pretty much choose any animal you’d like. Some of my favorites to use with my students are: “Walk like a penguin,” “Walk like a mouse,” or “Walk like an ant.” I’ve found that most students really love this engagement idea!

2. “Hip and Lip”

“Hip and lip” is a really quick way of letting your students know that the hallway expectation is to have a ‘hand on a hip and a finger on a lip.’ The finger on the lip keeps little lips quiet in the hallway. The hand on the hip gives their free hand something to do making sure that it isn’t touching their friend in front or behind them.

3. “Put a bubble in your mouth”

Another favorite is to pretend you’re carefully holding a bubble in your cheeks with cheeks poked out. Students love making sure that they are the student with the biggest and most quiet bubble!

Images of steps or feet on the floor help student know where to line up.

We know that on any given day, there are several times that students will need to line up and walk in the hallway. Classroom transitions need to happen quickly but in a managed, effective way.

Engaging your students during travel time will help it go much smoother and you’ll get to wherever you need to be faster!

BONUS Song for Lining Up!

Songs are powerful AND effective! They are especially helpful during transitions, which is when a lot of problems can occur or management issues can pop up.

That’s why we want to share with you one of our favorite songs for lining up. This song is sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and it even has a fun callback that your students will love!



Check out the video to hear our lining up song in action. You will definitely want to try it with your kiddos!

When it’s time to leave our classroom get in line.

(whisper) Line up!

When it’s time to leave our classroom get in line.

(whisper) Line up!

Now it’s time to get in line so we better be on time.

When it’s time to leave our classroom get in line.

(whisper) Line up!

Want to improve classroom management and increase student engagement with music and movement?

Don’t miss out – sign up today for The PLAYlist! With 3 new songs every month designed specifically for Pre-K, TK, & Kindergarten PLUS corresponding games and activities, this resource is quickly going to become your favorite tool in your teacher toolbox!

Join the PLAYlist and get 3 new songs every month plus corresponding games and activities.

Join The PLAYlist and spend less time trying to capture student attention and more time being engaged in active learning!

The Kindergarten Connection
Effective Teacher Tips for Walking in Line
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