Calm, Cool, and Collective Transitions

It is no secret that 4 and 5 year olds have an endless supply of energy, so when you put 19 of them in the same classroom it could keep New York City lit until the world comes to an end. While observing a pre-k classroom you could see this energy in each individual student. While this energy is very important for young children to have, one thing that I noticed is how much it affects the transition period between centers. As I started to notice this lengthy period of time, I started to record how long it took for the students to move to the next center. The time periods varied from 2-8 minutes. Now this might not seem like a long time, but if you multiply say 5 minutes by 4, for how many centers there were, that’s 20 minutes that the teacher has lost in just one day. To put it in a larger perspective, that’s 1 hour and 20 minutes a week in which the students are losing quality learning time. Many teachers already feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to teach all of the standards. These transitions just take more time out of students learning.

This observation made me ask the question, “How can we create smooth, quick transitions between centers?” According to an article on classroom management in the music setting. Turning on music between silent transitions will believe it or not make the transition a little better. Incorporating music creates a beat for the children to move to and gains their attention in a better way then yelling at them or clapping your hands. Music will allow the children to get rid of any extra energy they have. Using something that children like during your transitions is key to get them to do what you want.

In conclusion incorporating music into transitions can create a fun way for the children to move from each center. When the music turns on the children will eventually learn the routine and move to the next station. Some days will be better than others, but the key to student cooperation is discovering something they like to do so that they will make these smooth transitions. I feel as though this will help overall in classroom management.


Classroom management for Early Childhood Music Settings

Koops, L. H. (2018). Classroom Management for Early Childhood Music Settings. General Music Today31(3), 82–86.