- If your class is moving often between two specific spaces, it might be a good idea to create a simple song based around those actions for the transition. The song doesn't need to be complicated, in fact, it's better if it's not. You can use familiar pitches and melodic patterns, such as s-m-ss-m, and ask your students to compose the lyrics. This would be a great activity for the first month of school, combining a review of familiar pitches as well as rhythmic identification within words (the rhythms each word makes). In addition, it's a great way to get older students invested since they have the freedom to compose their own transitions. Feel free to use the following song as a starting point (I never claimed to be Beethoven).
Create a Playlist
- Creating a playlist for transitions is not only an energy-saver, but it's great for those days that you have a substitute. Assigning a specific song for each transition (such as gathering in a circle for dancing) will help to establish routines in your classroom. Once the students have internalized the playlist of transition songs, you won't even need to tell them what to do. You can just play the song, and they'll go!
Follow the Story
- Depending on your plan, you could weave a story into your lesson that provides great material for transitions. For example, if you're teaching a lesson on tempo using a piece of children's literature, you could tell students to move to the tempo of (insert character's name here) and sit down in the circle space. You could also create a story for a classroom puppet (or other plushie), and use the puppet to model each part of your lesson, including the transitions. For example, you might ask students to follow the puppet while echoing its melodic patterns as they line up to get instruments.
Thanks to Rachel for a great suggestion on today's Reader's Choice blog post. If you'd like to contribute to the next Reader's Choice post, click HERE and add your suggestion. If you have more transition ideas for Rachel, be sure to leave them in the comments section. I'd love to hear about them!