Teaching tip: Use Transitions when your session is longer than their attention span.
Young learners may be eager to obey you, but have a limited capacity to sit still & pay attention. You must respect this and help them, rather than punishing them for not being miniature adults. -
How? Have them alternate between sitting in chairs and sitting on cushions, changing your focus as you transition every 15-20 minutes. This helps them 'reboot'. They get a break from sitting and being quiet, enabling them to cooperate with each other and with you throughout the lession.
But, won't I lose a lot of time or control of the class by letting them move around? No. Even though, at first transitions will take more time because you need to train them, it is worth it to have their attention for the majority of an hour long session to invest 10 minutes on transitions. Also, you can use the transition to cultivate awareness of other people's needs, cooperation, polite behavior, etc.
How? Wrap up your first segment. Then, let the kids know what to expect during the transition. (Before they get up), say something like, “When I tell you it’s time, we are going to get up, go to the carpet, take our shoes off, find a cushion to sit, and make sure everyone else also has enough space to sit. As you speak slowly, act it out. Then, tell it's time to do it. You can ask the children to pay attention to something about their behavior each time you transition. Eventually, you can ask children in the class, "What do we need to remember when we go sit on the cushions (go sit in our chairs)?" The children will learn they need to help each other, not to push, not to shout, etc. The more the children feedback to you expected behaviors, the more they will carry them out. -
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