Our goal is to make our transitions throughout the day smooth! If you suddenly
tell a child to stop what they are doing to clean up so that they can go on to
something else, it is not going to go smooth. Children need time to prepare for
what is going to happen next. This way they have time to finish what they were
doing before having to clean up and move on.
In the mornings we have free choice as students arrive, then snack, recess, and
then we come in for circle time and activities. When we line up outside to go in,
we go over what we are going to do (take shoes off, wash hands, sit on the carpet
for circle time). With our older students, a verbal reminder everyday about what
we do before circle time helps make our transition from recess to washing hands,
to circle time fairly smooth.
One way we transition our Pre-K students is by using a sand timer. They get a five-
minute warning before they are expected to clean up. The sand timer is put
where they can see it, and they know that when the sand runs out it is time to
clean up. The sand timer captures their attention. They keep an eye on it, and as
soon as the sand is gone they will say “Time to clean up!” Having a visual helps
our transitions go a lot smoother.
When the children are really interested in an activity it is a great opportunity to
expand on that lesson, so we spend more time on it. One activity our Pre-K
students were really into was the ‘Letter Community’ lesson under the “Include
Everyone” topic in the Friends and Feelings unit. We first reviewed the letters,
identified whether they were uppercase or lowercase, and took turns rolling the
cube and writing down the letters. The children got excited to see what letter
they were going to roll next and what letter their friends were rolling. There were
a lot of laughs when they rolled the same letter twice in a row! We expanded it by
making predictions on what letter they thought they were going to roll next, and
which circle would have the most letters. Each child had several turns because
they were enjoying this activity so much. It was fun to see them so excited about
One activity that our Pre-K students were not as into, was the ‘Sharing Stories’
lesson under the “Sharing” topic. They quickly arranged the story pieces,
explained what they did, and were done. It could be the dynamic of the group that day, so we like to leave the pieces on the shelf as an activity that is available for another day.With preschool, it all depends on the day and the class. As with any lesson, sometimes they are really into it one day and not as into it the next.
We love that Mother Goose Time has the lessons planned out for each topic. It allows us to look ahead and decide what we are going to do for the day. We can follow the child’s lead on what we may spend more time on doing, or what we may accomplish rather quickly. Our students know that after circle time they get to do the activities, and with most of the materials provided, Mother Goose Time makes it easy to stick to this routine.