Effective transitions are critical for effective classroom management, successful learners, and happy teachers. Time loss, and attention loss, during transitions can be a major factor in student learning. It can be a major hurdle that separates high-growth classes from low-growth classes. Here are a few tips to give your students a sense of urgency and mental focus during transitions.
In this post, you will find:
Let’s start with why effective transitions are so important.
These are times when noise levels increase, academic engagement is absent, and movement is present. It’s the perfect recipe for disasters or regaining mental focus. It all depends on your use of routine and effective transitions.
There’s a lot at stake here. So let’s look at the simplest tip that I can give you. It also has a huge impact on classroom management!
Save time during transitions by using time limits and countdowns.
During any transition, give time limits. 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 60 seconds…whatever you think is appropriate for an effective transition, and then make it a bit shorter. The students will move much faster with a little time pressure.
Be sure to remind students of the intervals as they pass. It looks this:
It really is as simple as that! If you want to boost the effectiveness of this transition tip, try a few classroom management ninja techniques.
This is a strategy in the Teach Like A Champion book (Amazon link).
To do this, teachers must break down procedures and map out the one right way to do them. One effective way to do this is to scaffold the transitions, teaching procedures step-by-step. It may seem like a waste of time or something for their homeroom teachers to do, but it is an investment and one that can pay off for months or years to come, depending on how long you teach.This is about the social and emotional health of the class. Teachers must break down procedures and map out the one right way to do them.Click To Tweet
Let’s wrap up with a few ideas and tips from Todd Finley. You can read more in the full article at Edutopia.
He offers an interesting fact about the loss of time during transitions:
Botched transitions are not only embarrassing, they’re lost time. If you save 15 minutes a day through more efficient transitions, that will result in 45 extra hours of instructional time per year. Therefore, shifting students from one task to the next is worth getting right.
And here are a few tips for transitions:
Sometimes transitions are just plain difficult. Here are a few questions that can help with reflection:
I hope this quick-read helps with building effective transitions into your class structure. Also, you can use the timers and tools to help with effective transitions: Class Dojo (for points, music, and timers), Online Stopwatch (fun timers for projection), Egg Timer (a simple timer for transitions).
If you enjoyed these effective transition tips, please consider sharing this article with a friend or colleague using the share buttons. And now, it’s your turn. What tips do you have for transitions and classroom management? What questions do you have? Leave a comment below the related articles or Tweet Matt here.Hey, Matt I just read your article on Effective Transitions! Click To Tweet
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