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When transitioning from place to place in the classroom, it is important to have a game plan. Excusing the kids all at once is not an option I recommend. I say this from experience! But moving onto our next tasks throughout the day doesn’t have to be complicated and we can even incorporate some learning fun. Check out these simple and effective classroom transition ideas that will also help your students strengthen important skills!
*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
Simple and Effective Classroom Transition Ideas: Part 1
If you feel stressed even thinking about releasing your students from circle time or lining them up at the end of the day, then you’ve come to the right place. Transition from the carpet (or any whole group time) SMOOTHLY with these helpful and easy ideas!
And be sure you check out our Simple and Effective Classroom Transition Ideas: Part 2 for even more amazing transition tips!
Idea #1 – Letters at the Beginning of our Names
This idea is so simple and is the perfect way to introduce your students to your new transition routines at the beginning of the year. In Transitional Kindergarten we are always working on building up our name recognition skills. This starts with recognizing the letters that make up our names.
In this routine, I explain that our classroom helper is going to point to a letter that I have written out ahead of time and if their name starts with that letter – off you can go!
Idea #2 – Colors We Can Read
This routine strengthens color recognition skills AND color word fluency. I start by writing the color words that we are currently learning on our chart paper. It’s so fun to see the amount of colors grow as the year goes on!
When it is time to transition, I (or my classroom helper) pick a student in the group. I point to a color word on our easel and the student that I picked reads the word before they can move.
I make sure to write the color words in their corresponding colors to help my pre-readers build confidence!
Idea #3 – Numbers We Know
I always keep a set of number flashcards on hand. They are inexpensive, super versatile, and I love to use them for this next classroom transition idea!
I start by writing numbers 0-10 on chart paper and then pass out the number flashcards, one to each student. I point to a number on the chart (or the helper can) and whoever has the matching number flashcard can go. Such a fun way to strengthen number recognition skills!
RELATED RESOURCE: Name Games and Activities Bundle
Idea #4 – Number of Letters in our Names
This idea is a little more challenging (keep reading to check out my tip for when students don’t know the answer) but my kids love it!
First, sort names by how many letters they have and display them in a pocket chart (or wherever the kids can see it clearly). When it’s time to transition, say, “If you have 3 letters in your name, go line up!” If a student is unsure, they can look at the pocket chart for reference.
Later in the year, I like to make classroom transition ideas like this even more challenging by saying, “If you have 4 letters in your name and it starts with an ‘M’, go line up!”
You may be wondering what to do if a student doesn’t know the correct answer. I NEVER want any of my kiddos to feel stressed, embarrassed, or called out so I have come up with a simple rule!
The rule that I make clear as we begin using our new classroom transition ideas is that if any student doesn’t know the answer, they get to ask a friend for help. The friend shares the answer, they both say it together, and they both get excused!
In my classroom, we also do a lot of talking about how “I don’t know yet” is a perfectly acceptable phrase for kids AND adults. It is so important that my students know that every day I am learning things too!
Which new classroom transition idea will you try first? Don’t forget to check out Part 2 of our effective transition tips and ideas!
Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?
(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)
If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!