Using Time as a Strategy for Effective Transitions in the Classroom

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Check Out the New Blog There are many elements that help structure transitions in the classroom. The element of time creates a smooth method, if used properly. Let me explain how.

First, give students a time warning shortly before the end of the activity to help prepare themselves mentally for the transition and to make themselves ready for an efficient physical transition.

For example, “In two minutes, we will be presenting our findings. What do you need to do to be ready?

Second, use a time limit to help clarify the expectation of how long things should ideally take.

For example, you may ask the students, “How long should it take for us to put what we have away and be ready for the next lesson?

Here you may take suggestions from the class, but choose one that helps support a reasonable goal.

In this example, let’s assume that one minute is plenty of time for all students to complete the task. So your direction may sound something like the following, “[Cue], we need to stop now and move on to doing the lesson. We should be able to do that in one minute. Any questions? [Process the questions.] Go!

Using time beneficially is an effective strategy for transitions in the classroom, as it allows students the space and time to mentally gear up for the transition.

How can you adapt this strategy to better suit your classroom?

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Transformative Classroom Management

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4 Responses to “Using Time as a Strategy for Effective Transitions in the Classroom”
  1. Carla says:

    Thank you for reminding me to prepare the students for the transitions. I think it is also imperative for those of us who lose track of time to set a timer or use a clock watcher to help us transition.

  2. You’re welcome and that’s a great additional tip. In fact, before we run out of time we’d like to mention the story about…

  3. Julia says:

    Thanks for your article. Students also enjoy the challenge of trying to beat their own previous transition time(s).

  4. Julia, Thanks for the fun tip to encourage students in the classroom.

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