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Classroom Management


Transitional Activities for Lesson Beginning and Dismissal

Transitional activities are activities that can be used in transition periods to secure and maintain attention. They are an effective management tool and should be included in your management toolkit. Convert waiting time to learning time with the help of transitional activities.

Build transitional activities around skills or concepts that have already been learned, skills or concepts that need additional practice, or skills that may be relevant to the next scheduled lesson.

  • Make the experience vivid and intense.
  • Make the experience flexible enough to accommodate the later arrival or early departures of individual students.
  • Make the experience short.
  • Effective transitional activities require little or no material, and are easy and fun for all students.
LESSON BEGINNING Transitional Activities
  • Be ready to tell one playground rule.
  • Be ready to tell me the names of the students in our class that begin with B or M and so on.
  • Be ready to draw something that is only drawn in circles.
  • Be ready to tell a wellness habit.
  • Have a colour word on the board. Have students draw something that colour.
  • Flash fingers—students tell how many fingers.
  • Say numbers, days of the week or months and have the students tell what comes next.
  • “I went on Amazon and I bought … ”—each student names an object.
  • Have a word written on the interactive whiteboard. Students make a list of words that rhyme.
  • Put spelling words in alphabetical order.
  • Count to 100 by 2s, 5s, 10s and so on, either oral or written.
  • Use T-charts to drill math fundamentals.
  • Think of animals that live in the jungle, in water and so on.
  • Give names of fruits, vegetables, proteins and so on.
  • Simon says.
  • List the colours you are wearing.
  • Clapping games.
DISMISSAL Transitional Activities
  • “I Spy”—who can find something in the room that starts with M, P and so on?
  • Who can find something in the room that has the sound of a short a, long a and so on?
  • Number rows or tables. Teacher signals number of tables with fingers; children leave accordingly.
  • Students who have all their felt markers put away may leave now, and so on.
  • Those with freckles, tied shoes, new front teeth and so on may leave.
  • Count in order by 2s, 5s and so on.
  • Say the days of the week; the months of the year.
  • What day is it, what month is it, what is the date, what is the year, how many months in a year, how many days in a week and so on?
  • Reward activity: “We have had a great day! Who helped it be a great day for all of us? Amina, you brought flowers to brighten our room. You may leave. Johan, you remembered to clean your hands with hand sanitizer. Good for you. You may leave. Akeno remembered his library books all by himself. Dawn walked all the way to the playground—she remembered our safety rules. Tomeko brought her pet rabbit to share with us. Chung surprised us with a perfect spelling score—he must have practiced. And so on. Also, students can be grouped together for kindness actions to speed things up. Teacher can finish, “You’re all learning to be very thoughtful. I’m very proud of all of you and you should be very proud of yourselves.”
  • Use flashcards. A first correct answer earns dismissal.
  • To review the four basic shapes, each student names an object in the room in the shape of a triangle, circle, square and so on.
  • Say a word that begins or ends with consonants, blends and so on.
  • Dismiss by colour of clothing, type or colour of shoes, month of birthday, season of birthday, beginning letter of first name, beginning letter of last name.
  • Name an object that begins with B. C and so on, and pretend you are this object as you leave.