Blog 5 Transitions

1.)The classroom I observe starts with individual reading for fifteen minutes every day. It’s really more of a sponge activity, but it gets the kids into a more docile, learning mode versus the chaos that is inherent with classroom transitions, seeing friends in the halls, sudden explosions of sound and activity as people move to new rooms, and so on. She launches into the lesson plans fairly abrupt, but because it is a daily routine, the students have no problem following the directions on the board and either opening their books or otherwise preparing for the lesson. During the lesson, she has a remarkable way of dealing with distractions by making them “invisible” until she absolutely has to redirect her attention. Then she uses an escalation of body language, personal names, positioning, and finally interrupting instruction to deal with the issue and meting out the appropriate consequence. As far as simple management with the class as whole, she is direct but nice, always smiles and maintains trust and approach-ability.
2.) The most common transition is the previous mentioned individual reading block. Another transition I have never seen in a classroom before (and granted every calls she seems to have at least one or two students with attention issues)   was to take a planned break for five minutes so students could use the restroom or get water, but it overall allowed them to move from one attention-demanding exercise to a gear-switching mode with a break in between for them to stretch and relax. Many times her problem students seem to calm significantly after they return to their seats. The last transition was her daily close-out and this was no more than letting them know we had five minutes left and to go ahead and take care of basic house keeping and lien up at the door. They don’t actually line up, but by letting them congregate near the exit, it keeps them from returning to their desks after cleaning up and keeps them in the transitory frame of mind.
3.) I especially liked the free reading period. I probably did it myself in high school and didn’t realize that was what was happening, but the fifteen minutes students spend internalizing was akin to massaging the brain and preparing to take on a new subject that requires a different discipline set than the last class or activity.

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