Thursday, November 3, 2011

Timing Transitions - classroom management series

This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.
As promised, I am continuing with tips for staying on a schedule.

I think you'll all agree that there is simply not enough time in the school day.

Every second counts.

When we make our schedules we don't typically take into account transitions within the classroom room. A schedule may read:

9:00-10:00 Math
10:00-10:45 Reading
10:45-11:00 Word Study

The problem is that you don't magically snap your fingers at 10:00 and suddenly go from math to reading. Without planning and practice, such transitions can get chaotic and will steal valuable teaching time.

The best way I have found to save time is to set clear expectations for transitioning and then using a stopwatch to time them.

I use the timer on my cell phone, but anything digital would work just fine.

I don't use it all the time, but when I do it has a big impact. I signal that it is time to transition and review the procedures. I remind them not to run and to always work as a team. I then start the timer and tell them to transition. When they have successfully transitioned from point A to point B I stop the timer and record the time.

We keep track of their times and strive to beat the best time. If they beat their best time, the class earns a bingo number. If not, we just focus on how we could improve.

A few minutes saved here and there really do add up.

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