Classroom Management Tip: Transitions

For the final time this week, I am devoting a post to featuring one of Annette Breaux’s classroom management tips and my experiences using them on the first day. I am confident you will take something positive away from at least one of these tips! (And if you do, make sure you let Annette know!)

Today’s tip: There’s a world record for that.

  • In theory: This is for those kids and/or classes that make the most out of dragging transitions out (I mean, how hard is it to get out a pencil?) and for those teachers who want to get kids moving faster from one subject to another. The teacher makes a BIG fuss over just learning about the world record for a given transition in the grade one year above the students in her class. It might sound like this: “You know what? I was just reading last night about some world records, and I learned that the world record for fourth graders getting out a pencil and their science notebook is ONLY 8.3857231 seconds! And I thought, “Wow, there’s no way my class could do that.” I mean, you’re only in third grade.” The kids respond indignantly and wind up breaking the world record every time!
  • In practice: While I liked the idea behind every tip I shared this week, I think I saved the best for last. I used this for the first time the day after the conference as soon as the kids walked in. They sensed the urgency of my news and were fascinated to know about the fourth grade world record for unpacking. They waited for me to say, “GO!” and, though I was looking at my watch, I wasn’t really timing them. They unpacked lickety split. My slowest unpackers miraculously became the fastest. No joke, we added at least 10 minutes of instructional time to first period by “setting the world record” for unpacking. I used it throughout the day and sometimes it was almost unfair how quickly they transitioned. I love this trick.
  • Remember: Your enthusiasm for smashing world records will cause the transitions to be quicker. If you simply talk about world records in a dull tone, expect world records for slowness. I 100% endorse this tip! It’s a game, and everyone wins!

Try it and share with us how it went!



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