Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Smooth Transitions for Desk to Carpet in the Primary Classroom

As a teacher in the midst of my fourteenth year of teaching, I have noticed that transitioning from one lesson to another in the primary classroom can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare (haha understatement of the year).  It can give students that bit of time to socialize, sure, but it can also be a moment when conflict and dysregulation can occur, stealing their precious focus and using up several minutes of learning time.  Now, I am all for brain breaks (in our class, we GoNoodle with the best of them!) and stopping the lesson and talking about what went wrong and discussing ways to problem solve (Hello my good friend Love and Logic💜), don't get me wrong.  However, sometimes some students are just not ready to process the ins and outs of how or why they are feeling the way they are.  In due time and with the right supports, we will get there.  However, the rest of the class is geared up and ready to learn!  

ENTER....focused, concept centred transitions!!  If you are going from table to carpet or carpet to table, use a concept centred transition!  If students are walking in the hallway or going to get their snacks use these moments as opportunities to review concepts and practice skills learned in class.  They can be used for all subjects and they are great for the kinesthetic learners in your group!

I'm going to focus on numeracy for this blog post, but there are many ways to incorporate concepts from all the subject areas!

Students start, standing at their table or desk (they must be standing behind their chair to start - no cheating).  This can take a few weeks of observing and practicing to eliminate cheating, as well as to practice moving and speaking as a team.  With a challenging class I found I had to be quite observant and sticky with the rules.  This year, I am lucky to be a little bit freer and we joke around a lot - they know not to take things too far.

When students reach the carpet, they stand in their spot and continue participating until all students have reached the carpet.  Then, we all sit down together as a class.

Below are a few examples!

Numeracy Vocabulary Syllables: Teacher says one numeracy vocabulary word at a time and students takes steps for each syllable in each word.  Example: Teacher - "Equation"  Students: "E- (one step) qua- (one step) -tion (one step)".

Counting forwards by 1's:  Students start at "0" on an imaginary number line.  With each step, they say a number.  You can have them repeat after you, clap or tap as they say each number.  You may have they start at "4" instead of "0" - there are many variations.

Counting backwards by 1's: Students start at "any number" on an imaginary number line.  With each step, they say a number.  

Counting by 2's: Students hop on two feet as they say each number.

Counting by 5's: Students assume crawling "baby style" position, and count "5" for each hand movement.

Counting on: Teacher says any number and students count on two numbers.  Example: Teacher says "5" and students say "6, 7" while taking a step for each number.

Counting back: Teacher says any number and students count back two numbers.  Example: Teacher says "8" and students say "7, 6" while taking a step for each number.

Number Partners (bonds) of 10: Teacher says a number and students say its number partner and then take that number of steps.  Example: Teacher says "6" and students say "4 - 1, 2, 3, 4".

Doubles: Teachers says a double and students say its sum and then take that number of steps.  Teacher says "2+2" and students say "4 - 1, 2, 3, 4".

I'm sure there are many more!  If you think of any new ones I'd love to hear about them!  You can message me on Instagram @agradeonenut

Good luck! and I hope you find these transitioning tools as valuable to your list classroom management techniques as I do!

Also, if you are a primary teacher in the early years, I have a new product for you that utilizes some of these transitioning techniques as part of the activities!  See below for more information!








Happy teaching, friends!  Hope you have a great start to 2019!




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