Monday, April 18, 2011

Management Monday {Transitions}

I remember that in the classroom, transition time was the hardest to keep the kiddos focused and on task.  Times such as moving from the carpet to their seats, lining up at the door, and cleaning up centers was the time I had most of my behavior problems.  So, to ease transition time, there are lots of fun things you can try.

Last week, our Queen Bee wrote about timers.  That's one awesome way to help kids move smoothly between activities.  If you need some ideas for cute ones, This Next has some great options.
Another transition tool you can try is wind chimes.  I kept some metal ones with butterflies in my classroom used them often to signal the end of activities.  They were too high for my little ones to reach, so I was the only one that could ring them.  I found some great ones to show you if you want some for your room!

a classic wind chime from Bela Donna etsy shop (you get to choose the color)

cute schoolhouse wind chime from Teacher Gifts

beautiful shell chimes from Celery Street (perfect for an ocean-themed classroom)
My all-time favorite transition tool to use in the classroom is music!  My class name was always Mrs. Jackson's Jitterbugs.  So, I created a playlist on my ipod called, "Jitterbuggin'."  Then, I chose one of those songs to play as the kids went back to their seats, or any other transition time.  For example, I would play the song from "Pirates of the Carribean," and ask the kids to act like pirates as they walked back to their seats.  They LOVED it and it significantly cut down on behavior problems!  So, I put together a playlist for you today.  For each of these songs, you could do these movements for transitions or brain breaks...

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

  1. "Car Wash": pretend to wash cars  
  2. "Move It Like This": free dance
  3. "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)": act like pirates
  4. "Cupid Shuffle": line dance 
  5. "Fly to Your Heart": pretend to be fairies and fly
  6. "Life is a Highway": pretend to drive cars
Try out these songs with your students and see what happens!  The possibilities are endless for song choices!  So, I hope you've enjoyed these ideas for transitions today.  What do you do for transitions in your classroom...please share!  


  1. I love those timers! I'm going to look into those for sure, thank you!

    I use this wand chime: Treeblocks Music Wands

    It makes a nice sound (I have the star one). what other job could you get away with using a wand every day?! :)

    Ladybug's Teacher Files

  2. Great ideas!! I am queen of the countdown. Or, I tell the students how many seconds they have and count up. This is a great way to model oral counting.

    First Grade Factory

  3. I love those timers! I am not familiar with, is there a way to copy your playlist?

  4. Janine,
    I don't think there's a way to copy my playlist, but if you go to, you can make your own for free! :)

  5. I use the Coasters song "yackety yack" for clean up from centers. They have 2 plays of the song before they need to be done. They love it!

  6. We shuffled in my room today. :) Thanks for the song list. Great choices!