Transitions

ISBN 13: 9781936205141

Transitions

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9781936205141: Transitions

Teachers have many tools in their instructional tool box. Transitions are a perfect example. Instructional time in the classroom is a teacher’s most valuable commodity, and efficient use of this time must be intentional and purposeful.

Often, valuable time is lost when students are returning to the classroom from lunch, the restroom, extracurricular classes, or when changing from one activity to another. Instead of waiting for all students to return before beginning a new lesson, use a teaching transition. Review or strengthen recent concepts by engaging students in short instructional moments. Increase students’ productive thinking skills by using these ‘wait’ times to analyze current topics of study. Using instructional transitions can also strengthen listening skills, extend vocabulary and verbal fluency, and support flexible thinking.

Students use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities to process information. Encouraging students to talk and move, transitions offer a perfect opportunity for auditory and kinesthetic learners. Many students need to hear themselves repeat information while movement may be the key for other students. However, it is the teacher’s responsibility to match transition types with student needs.

Spending just two minutes a day engaged in an instructional transition will replace 6 hours of ‘down time’ in a child’s school year! What teacher can’t use an extra 6 hours of instructional time? Think of all the non-instructional times during a day and multiply that by 180 days. You really can “get it all in” if you make a point of turning non-instructional time into instructional time through the use of transitions.

Classroom conflict is often the result of too much non-instructional time. Providing appropriate instructional activity during transition times will strengthen academic success while reducing conflict. Using intentional transitions puts the teacher in control of ‘down time’ and provides acceptable avenues for talking and movement in the classroom.
 

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About the Author:

CAY MCANINCH has been an early childhood educator and lecturer at Stephen F. Austin State University since 2004. Before teaching higher education, Cay’s twenty-five-plus years of teaching experience included private and public school settings with toddlers, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten classrooms, and various mixtures of older children. 

VIKKI BOATMAN is a long-time early childhood educator, working for 16 years with young children and over 20 years with university students. Dr. Boatman taught in the Early Childhood Lab at Stephen F. Austin State University before teaching in public schools. She returned to SFA for several years before being hired to build the Lufkin Independent School District's first self-contained Gifted and Talented kindergarten program, then housed on the Garrett Primary Campus.

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