Classroom teachers need to have a few quick learning activities in their toolkit! Activities that take only a few minutes can help out with classroom management, and keep those little minds engaged and growing.
Especially for our younger elementary-aged students, transition time can be tricky. I’ll help you use it wisely to keep your kids engaged all day long, filling every moment of learning time during our increasingly busy days. I have some great ideas and resources to share that you can try out and build into your routines to help reduce downtime anxiety for teachers and students.
When should you use transition activities?
Any time you have a few minutes before your students are ready to move on to the next part of their day, you should have something easy on hand to keep them engaged and ready to smoothly transition into the next activity.
Use these transition activities when:
- You’re waiting for the “specials” teacher to show up.
- You’re waiting for the lunch bell to ring.
- Kids are lined up for buses.
- You have breaks in your day but you don’t have time to dive into curriculum.
- You need to manage movement and engagement for your actively learning students.
- Your days don’t go as planned. Use these activities to keep kids on track while you work through unexpected downtime or technical difficulties.
- You have a substitute teacher and want to give them a leg up on transitions.
Why do I need transition activities?
As simple as they are, these transition activities can be super useful. They make even a new teacher look like a confident veteran. Not only will they help ease your anxiety by giving you solutions for seamless transitions, but they really help our kids stay engaged and learning in many ways.
Transition activities help:
- Keep kids engaged and well behaved even when we have just a couple of “waiting” minutes.
- Impress other teachers/staff with how behaved your class is during those transition times—perfect for those pop-in admin visits!
- Reduce anxiety for kids who struggle with waiting in line, waiting for the next teacher, etc. when expectations aren’t clear.
- Clear minds and build focus with ideas and concepts that require a little practice.
- Build in more kinesthetic, visual, oral learning activities into your day so everybody has access to their best learning styles throughout the day.
- Get controlled movement and talking time for little bodies full of energy.
What transition activities should I be looking for? And where can I get them?
I have several super easy and engaging digital slide activities in my TPT shop for primary classes. While you can have students play these anytime independently in class or during distance learning, you can also adjust them easily and play for a few minutes with the whole group.
Kids simply watch the smart board and answer questions together. Each slide has a 20-second timer bar at the bottom to help students manage their time when answering each question. It also helps them monitor when the next question is about to show up.
If you want to get all your students involved and actively engaged, interactive games are for you! They are perfect to use as a review game during a transition period. Try them on your interactive whiteboard and pair it with a student response system like Plickers to get every child involved during your whole class lesson!
The Interactive Phonics and Math Bundles will give you access to all the activities you need to take your students through the curriculum in small bites. They are also available as individual sets if you want to pick and choose the standards to cover.
Looking to sample first? Here’s a peek at the phonics activities if you are interested in learning more and testing them out with your K-2nd graders.
Another great resource for your interactive whiteboards are digital flashcards. I have phonics flashcards that are great for kindergarten and 1st grade. The flashcards are in a PDF file so you can use any device that has a pdf reader available.
NEW Resource Alert! Start engaging with thoughtful and fun conversations in the classroom with chit chat prompts. Get your students talking and thinking critically while building classroom rapport. Use these as a jumping-off point to have kids ask their own questions and help establish norms within the class.