Put Your Transitions to Work
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Coming back from lunch? It’s hard for all of us – my kiddos and me too! For them, leaving the rowdy lunchroom in straight lines to quietly (cough! cough!) make their way down the hall towards our classroom is not a stellar moment to launch right into close reading with complex texts. No, we need a moment. Or two! We take two by writing silently in our notebooks. At this point in the year, I have one student who is in the middle of writing a 12 chapter novel about dolphins. She’s gotten so engrossed in her story that she’s been working on it at home as well! And, she’s in 2nd grade! That makes a great story but really what’s makes this quiet writing break such a big deal is that it helps everyone calm, reorient and write! For me, those 10ish minutes (sometimes less, sometimes more) give me time to deal with a lunchroom crisis, shoot off a parent email or even just put the pile of stuff in my arms down – in a more or less organized way!
Quiet transition breaks work well for returning from P.E. too. My kiddos are sweet, naturally rambunctious and learning how to stop a super high-paced activity and change gears to the more structured routines of our classroom is hard. Giving them time to process that change helps everyone. They know that when they return from P.E., they get a book from their book bins then read silently. And again, that’s a bonus for me – because there’s always one more thing to do and no time to do it! Like those one-minute timed reading assessments – just the right amount of time to squeeze a few in! Like reteaching a math concept taught earlier in the day to a few kids who were pulled for an intervention. Yes, this is like making something valuable out of nothing! I get to take care of something important while everyone else is still working. Making that time work may look different for you – it might be the perfect time to for some kiddos to get a reading or math boost on a computer or app-based intervention.