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Transition Time

You Can Quote Me
Use this activity at a transition time in the day. (For example, the activity will work well to help focus students immediately after lunch recess.) Write on a chart, or project on the board, a Quote of the Day. When students come in, invite them to read the quote and think about what it means, how it applies to them, or what it makes them think about Then have them write the quote and what they are thinking about it in their journals. Looking for a source of worthwhile quotations? Use this source -- which provides 180 quotations, one for each school day.

One-Minute Challenge

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In order to get students to clean up quickly and get organized at the end of an activity or class period, hold the carrot of a One-Minute Challenge activity in front of them. The challenge activity should differ from day to day. One day, you might challenge students to list as many candy bar names as they can. Another day, they might list names of basketball teams. Another day, you might challenge them to list as many words as they can that end with the letters -tion. At the end of a minute, all students must put down their pencils. Who has written the most words? Invite that student to read them aloud to earn a thumbs-up from his or her peers and a small reward.

Times Up!
Are transition times causing problems in your class? Buy an inexpensive egg timer and at each transition announce the amount of time students have to put things away and prepare for the next activity. Place the timer in a place where students can see it. The timer will help students who have difficulty transitioning, and it will create more instructional time in your day.

Great Gumballs! A Smooth Transition
Draw the outline of a gumball machine on a sheet of chart paper or on a bulletin board. (You might use an overhead projector to project and trace onto the bulletin board this image of a gumball machine. Draw in lots of round shapes to represent gumballs inside the machines glass dome. When you and your students are in the hallway during transition times, choose a secret student. When the transition is complete, let the class know who the secret student was and if that student behaved perfectly in the hallway. If the student behaved, invite him or her to color in one of the gumballs in the gumball machine. When the gumballs are all colored, students earn a class reward. This activity also can be used for transition times within the classroom: If students complete a transition smoothly and in the allotted time, choose a student to color a gumball. Since you make many transitions in a day, students conceivably could color in a handful or more gumballs each day.

The Best Team Wins
If you seat students in small groups or teams in your classroom, you can speed up transitions between activities by awarding points to the group that 1) does the best job of cleaning up, 2) makes the quietest transition, 3) makes the quickest transition At the end of the week, tally each groups points. Provide rewards for members of the winning group. (Oriental Trading Company is a good source of inexpensive trinket awards that kids seem to love, but homework passes and free computer time coupons are popular too.)

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
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