There are transitions from babies to big kids, transitions from one program to the next, and transitions from one activity to the next … There are many types of transitions. Some students transition easily – for others transitions are a challenge. My own boys find transitions to be stressful. If we have a change in plans they can handle it, but are less overwhelmed when we explain what to expect during adventures. This includes explanations during learning adventures.
We use a couple different curriculum packages at Adventure Academy for our child care and tutor time students. All of the students (tots to pre teens) enjoy theme based learning so we often incorporate the Mother Goose Time curriculum themes for all ages in various way. January’s theme was “Baby Animals” and February will be “Nursery Rhymes.” Both packages include materials for various subject matters integrated into the theme. For younger students the educational experience is simplified and for older students the lesson plans are expanded.
All subjects can be explored through simple themes making lessons more real life applicable. Although subjects have different learning objectives we transition through daily activities easily with use of one theme focus. Days transition into weeks and months covering different theme studies which need different transition techniques. Instead of going from baby animals to nursery rhymes over night – we transitioned from baby animals – to baby farm animals – to farm animal themed rhymes.
Mother Goose Time provides many hands on materials and manipulatives for teaching such themes. Over the past months we’ve built up quite an assortment of animal manipulatives, especially farm animal counters, which came in handy with “this little piggy” playouts and all the sheep poems. Sometimes manipulatives are so enjoyed we do not transition to the next activity as scheduled. Sometimes learning goes beyond the lesson plan when transitions are student led.
It’s great to have an expected routine with such predictability, but it’s also important to teach children how to handle free choice time where transitions from one activity to the next are up to their interests. I love watching the wheels turn in their minds as a simple counting game turns into story problems and when they are bored with the topic they may still enjoy the tools but find a new way to use them for make believe – which is important for the subject of arts, social studies, and more.
Leaving time transition free to learn subjects open-ended provides opportunity for problem solving and language skills to grow. Allowing activities to be large group, small group or individualized helps students communicate their interests, talents and needs. Leave plenty of free play time in your schedule for such discoveries and observations. Observations are the key to authentic assessments and helping teachers learn when to plan transitions. Transition by definition is the process of changing from one activity or condition to the next.
Providers help transition babies to big kids and schedule activity and program transitions… Adventure Academy is one of Mi Families programs that are in constant transition. Adventure Academy is currently preparing for our summer activities (even though it’s snowing outside). Mi Families (“my families”) LLC has programs for children, parents and providers all year round. To learn more about the types of programs we offer visit www.MiFamilies.com.
If you’d like help learning how to use observation to schedule transitions for your children (or the children you work with) email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Also email Christi if you know a child near Kingsley, Michigan who’d like to join in our learning adventures. We are currently enrolling for spring and summer sessions. For more about our summer program CLICK HERE. To network with other parents and providers in our programs find us on FACEBOOK. We are also on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn….