Transitions are always a challenging part of any teacher’s day, and even more so when you’re working with very young children.  Whether you’re trying to get your class lined up for recess or dismissing them to their tables to begin their work, moving smoothly from one space to another can be tricky.  Here are ten easy ways to help you get your kids from here to there without them winding up everywhere!

  1. By first letter of their name – “If your name begins with ‘M’, line up,” etc.  You might want to scaffold this by holding up a card with the letter on it, or pointing to an ABC chart while you do this one (depending on your kids and the time of the year).
  2. By last letter of their name – “If your name ends with ‘o’, line up”, etc.  A more challenging twist on #1.
  3. By first letter of their last name – “If your last name begins with ‘P’, line up,” etc.
  4. By initials – “If your initials are D.M., go to your table”, etc.
  5. By color they’re wearing – “If you’re wearing red (blue, etc), line up (go to your seat, etc).”
  6. By clapping their name in syllables – “When you hear your name, go line up.  Jo-se.  Je-nni-fer.”  A quick and easy way to incorporate some phonemic awareness into your day.
  7. Willoughby Wallaby – (The Raffi Song) – Willoughby Wallaby Wennifer, an elephant sat on Jennifer (Jennifer lines up), etc.  Working on the letter “b”?  Billoughby, Ballaby!  This is another easy way to incorporate phonemic awareness into your day.
  8. By vowels – If you have an “a” in your name, please line up.  If you have an “o” in your name… (This is much faster than some of the other methods and trickier too, so it’s probably better for later in the year).
  9. By fact/response – Children raise their hands and you call on them to tell you the name of a letter/sight word/number/color/shape/any other very quick fact.  You might want to give the last 3-5 kids a chance to respond together so that no one is left out, and leave some less challenging questions for the end, just in case.
  10. By item of clothing – “If you are wearing sandals, please line up.”  Some ideas: shoes with laces/Velcro/buckles/slip ons, a sweater with a hood, a shirt with a collar, any item of clothing with buttons/snaps/zippers/stripes/polka dots.  This is a great way to weave ELD into your day!

For other helpful ways to make your day run smoother, check out our other Kindergarten classroom management tips.  Have a peaceful, fun day!