classroom management,  transitions

Preschool transitions – signals and warnings

Coming back to school after a holiday break is the perfect time to tweak and reinforce you daily schedule.  One technique that can really help your schedule flow smoothly is is to employ warnings and signals that will let children know a transition is coming so that they are prepared to finish what they are working on.  Having time to finish a project makes moving on a lot easier.  
Here are some ideas for warning signals that will catch their attention:
  • Flip the lights off:  Teach the children that they should freeze and listen for your message when the lights go off. 
  • Use a chime: Ring one note as your warning and a series of notes to signal that it is time to put things away (like this one). 
  • Capture their attention with a bell (this one is perfect!). 
  • Ask one child to be the messenger: Make it their job to walk to each classmate and let them all know that they have 5 more minutes. 
  • Use a visual signal: This could be as simple as putting your hand in the air, or placing a special sign on the board. 
  • Start a time: Let the children know that they have 5 more minutes and then set the timer.  (here’s a great option for the classroom)

What strategies do you use for giving transition warnings? Share them in the comments!

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