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Transitions within the day

  • 1.  Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-15-2021 02:07 PM
    Hello All,
    I have a four year old who struggles with transitions. He doesn't want to come into class. He doesn't want to go home. He doesn't want to come to circle time. He doesn't want circle time to finish. He does not want to change activities throughout the day. He is a great, happy kid once he tries the activity. We give notice before a transition. We use a timer. We follow a routine each day. We sing the same goodbye song each day and he stresses out if his parent comes before his name is sung. They will wait until we sing his name and then it is a bit easier for him to leave. He prefers adults to kids. (He was home through much of the pandemic.) He's bright and a big shy. He loves music and is very sensory- loves shaving cream, finger painting, etc.
    Mom and I plan to meet next week. Any suggestions about how to help this sweet boy with transitions are appreciated. The problem is increasing, not decreasing with more time in school.


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    Elizabeth Glidden
    Early Learning Center Co-Director
    Hillel Academy of Tampa
    Tampa FL
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  • 2.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-16-2021 09:19 AM
    Perhaps the child who is struggling with transitions can BE IN CHARGE of initiating the transitions- in other words, he can be the one to hold the timer, start the song, etc etc.  It sounds as if you are doing everything right so maybe this will help him.

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    Gina James
    Teacher
    NYCDOE
    Williston Pk NY
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  • 3.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-17-2021 01:45 PM
    I agree let the child be in charge 





  • 4.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-19-2021 01:14 PM
    I love to use songs for transitions. Singing in itself reduces stress for everyone, and it helps language and social interaction.

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    Sue Hepker
    Jacksonville FL
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  • 5.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-19-2021 10:22 PM
    I agree.  I used singing songs daily. 





  • 6.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-16-2021 10:48 AM
    Hi! Just like Gina stated, having him initiate the activities can be helpful. Something I use with children like that is a picture schedule. All the activities are laid out for them on the wall with velcro and when it's time for an activity they get to move the picture to that specified activity. If it's circle time, they take the picture to circle time. When the activity is over, they place the card in a basket to signify the end of the activity. This has seemed to work for me along with all the other strategies you have been using. Good luck to you!

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    Paola Ventura
    Director
    The Art of Smart Preschool
    Lighthouse Pt FL
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  • 7.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-16-2021 02:17 PM
    I echo what Gina and Paola offered! Using pictorial cues makes the process more concrete as well as provide props to manipulate. Pictorial cues are the most wonderful tool because they benefit everyone, especially children who are multi-language learners and children who are neurodiverse learners. And for everyone they are a language and literacy opportunity. If you have children who are expert at drawing and/or writing they might be willing to help to create pictorial cues for your classroom- it's nice to include classroom community when adding new tools to the environment. Have you tried a social story, yet (creating a book about the transition that stars this child as the main character)?
    I'll risk sounding like a broken record with my last suggestion...transitions bring up big emotions for some children. This might be related to not being able to anticipate what the steps of the transition will be and pictorial cues will reduce the anxiety associated with that. However, if the child is worried that the next thing will not be as satisfying as the current thing, or angry/frustrated/disappointed that they have to stop doing the thing they're focused on AND they aren't sure how to navigate those emotions that might cause them to resist the transition. Also, if it's a pattern behavior it's possible that the adults' limbic systems are activated when transitions are approaching because they are worried the child will resist. It's important to be aware of this and utilize your own coping strategies so that when you approach the child to support them you are presenting a calm limbic system. The way to find out if this is an emotion processing development opportunity is to offer Collaborative Emotion Processing consistently during transitions for two weeks (while also providing pictorial cues). If it starts to get better then that's what it was! If it stays the same there might be something else going on with development and it's a good time to explore additional resources.
    -Lauren

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    Lauren Stauble
    Consultant/Faculty/ECE Admin
    Boston, MA
    feelthinkconnect.com
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  • 8.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-17-2021 08:20 AM

    Hi Lauren,

    This is a beautiful and informed response! I would love to learn more about Collaborative Emotion Processing. Are there any resources you can point me towards?

    Thank you!

    Beth Huber



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    Elizabeth Huber
    Director
    ETSU Little Buccaneers Early Childhood Laboratory Program
    Johnson City TN
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  • 9.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-17-2021 10:57 AM
    I'm so glad it was helpful! I have a recording of CEP for ECE Students that I need to update and I would be happy to share with you as soon as I do. In the meantime I'm sharing the CEP handout I share when I provide PD. Hoping the book gets published next year :)

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    Lauren Stauble
    Consultant/ECE Faculty
    Boston, MA
    feelthinkconnect.com
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  • 10.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-18-2021 09:21 AM
    Thank you so much for the handouts!  I have one particular class that I feel that this will be so helpful!

    Beth

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    Elizabeth Huber
    Director
    ETSU Little Buccaneers Early Childhood Laboratory Program
    Johnson City TN
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  • 11.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-19-2021 09:39 PM
    Transitions can be difficult for many young children, especially if they've experienced any adverse childhood experiences or have unpredictable routines outside of your classroom.  Providing as much warning as possible, before transitioning will help.  For example, telling that child individually, or the whole group, they've got five more minutes and setting a visual timer (one that changes in color or is in some way visually indicating the time fading) so that all can prepare for the next activity and reduce frustration with change.  Following up with a nice (and specific comment) is also helpful, when the student chose to transition when expected (e.g. "I really like the way you came in from recess when the rest of your friends came in...."

    Lastly, for those who may need more support than others, a whole group visual schedule can help.  Taking pictures of areas of play, snack, lunch, recess and placing them on a velcro strip can let everyone know what to expect for the day.  Once activities are over, remove the pictures and place them in an "all done" pocket.  Young children learn to predict the next activity and how the day may unfold.  This reduces anxieties brought about by sudden change.

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    Amanda E. Carlson, MS.Ed.
    Program Specialist
    San Diego


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  • 12.  RE: Transitions within the day

    Posted 10-21-2021 10:33 AM
    Hello! I remember teaching a child many years ago with the same problem. He was very particular about what was happening (and when) and making sure we would stick to the schedule. He actually helped me be better about sticking to our schedule! :-) If we had a special guest instead of circle time, for instance, he really struggled with it. I would let him know about 5 minutes BEFORE the transition. (I am going to start singing the clean up song when the hand of the clock is on the 5) A picture graph of the schedule helped, as suggested in other comments, perhaps he can carry his own schedule and check things off as they are done?
    Another note, my student had Aspergers syndrome, which we were aware of, so we knew more about how to help him. Sounds like you're doing great, how lucky are your parents and students that you care so much to keep trying to help!
    As always, wonderful suggestions on the chat!

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    Susan Frizsell
    Curriculum Coordinator
    Nashville, TN
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