When transitions go awry, it takes valuable class time to get students focused and ready to learn. That is why many educators use playful activities to keep students smiling and ready to transition back into the classroom. Here are five effective transitions you can try this week:
Give students two or more objects to touch (“something red, something square”), an action, (“give 2 high-fives”), and a way to move (“like a turtle”), on the way to your destination.
Explain what a spy is, and have everyone walk down the hallway as sneakily as possible, tiptoeing past doorways and ducking under windows. As you reach the classroom, everyone makes a collective sigh—”whew!”—while wiping their hands across their foreheads.
Teach everyone how to find their pulse and count beats to calculate their heart rate. Have every student take their heart rate while walking to the classroom. Students can practice being scientists: is their heart rate higher at recess or in class? Will it be higher after doing jumping jacks as they line up, or after taking a few deep breaths? What are their hypotheses?
Pretend to snails gliding smoothly to the playground, or frogs who must walk quietly so the alligators don’t get them. Use animals from stories your class is reading together or from recent science lessons to reinforce the theme. All that matters is that the animals are quiet as they walk past other classrooms and keep paws and antennae to themselves.
Running Through the Forest
Lead the students on a pretend run through the forest, jumping over imaginary logs, ducking under branches, swimming through a pond, and running from animals. This can be done standing in line as you wait for a teacher or walking to class like a game of follow the leader.
Bring Playworks to Your School
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