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Timely Transitions


Found in: tardiness; transitions; routines & procedures

Every minute of your time counts when you’re trying to accomplish tasks for the day—so, what to do when students employ delay tactics such as skipping in late, fiddling with their books, and then moseying out of their seats? Keep your time gobblers on track with these ideas for switching activities, rooms, or periods:

  • As you announce an upcoming transition, remind students of the kind of behavior you’re looking for.
  • Publicly compliment those groups of students complying with your transition expectations.
  • As students reenter the classroom, have the next activity waiting for them.
  • After all students have reentered the room, give a signal that you are ready to begin. Say, “Let’s get started,” or turn off the lights, count backwards from five, or ring a small bell. Then look at the clock, set a timer, or raise fingers on your hand with the prearranged understanding that lost minutes of instruction will be made up by the whole class (or a few individuals) before leaving for recess or lunch.

Excerpted from Discipline Checklist: Advice from 60 Successful Teachers

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