Making Transitions easier for kids

Making Transitions easier for kids

Transitioning a bunch of kids from one activity to another can be stressful for the students and hence the teacher as well.  Some kids really need advance notification that the thing they are doing will change.  They may become anxious, fearful, or angry when they have to stop doing one thing and go with the flow to the next activity.  We sometimes tell our students that they’ll clean up in three minutes, then in two, then in one and then we go for it. Other children do well with pictures of the parts of their day displayed on a large board. As the class moves from event to event we remove the pictures thereof.  This is a significant help to children who feel anxious, need a lot of structure, and/or are on the spectrum.

Singing is a great way to initiate a transition.  Singing gets a child’s attention, and the familiar words help them focus and become the first part of the transition. Either way, just a spoonful of singing makes the transitions go down much better.  Here are three of my favorites:

Put your finger on the wall, on the wall.   Put your finger on the wall, on the wall.

Put your finger on the wall when we’re walking down the hall.

Put  your finger on the wall, on the wall.  (Tune: If you’re happy and you know it.)

It’s clean up time everybody. It’s clean up time right now.  If I help you and you help me,

Then we’ll get ready for _______.

(Tune: Miss Lucy had a baby, she named him tiny Tim….)

Circle time is almost done, almost done, almost done.

Circle time is almost done, then we’re gonna go to ______.

(Tune: Buffalo girl won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight….)

Of course, you can make up your own songs, but that’s another blog!

– Margie La Bella