September Transitions Games

A colleague asked me today what are my favourite transition games to play with Kindergarten or Grade One students. You know those longer transitions when you gather up your kids for a mini lesson or read aloud and your students need a focus while they wait for the rest of the group to join you at the carpet. 

A good transition game enables students to join in as they finish their task. Three of my September favourites are 

1. Chants

Who Took The Cookies From the Cookie Jar?

I love this chant because it can be done in line up, on a field trip waiting for a late bus or speaker or during circle time. Once taught the children love it! Check our my Pinterest category Transition Games for the frame, some teaching tips like pace, and the words including a youtube video. This great game is also featured in  at least 3 excellent picture books found at this link

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=who+took+the+cookies+from+the+cookie+jar
2. Guess My Number?

Once you teach the framework for this circle game  you can differentiate it for your learners, use it either as a gathering or dismissal game.

In Kindergarten I begin in September with numbers 0 to 5, later as their numeracy grows the number line also expands until by June we are using 0 thru 100 and asking more complex questions. Grade One would begin with where the learners numeracy is perhaps 0 to 10 or 15. Whatever range you choose make sure they know the numbers and use a large number line or if they are seated at a table while you use a smart board or elmo have a number grid they can cross off with a dry erase pen.

Ask questions like:
one more than 5
one less than  4
two more/two less
between 3 and 5  ...

3. Counting Circle

Once you have taught the framework for this game then you can change the counting strategy to provide practice. For example you can count by ones, twos, fives, tens. You can count up to 10, 20, 30, ... 100. When the learners are ready you can ask the first student to join the circle which (already practiced many times) strategy we should use today, ask the next student what number we should start at and ask the third student what number we should stop at.

It goes like this. Pull a name from the fair turns jar. Ask that learner to pick a starting person. Count by ? until you reach the goal, lets say by 1's to 10. Everyone choral chants to 10. Student number ten stands up. Keep going beginning again at 1 and stopping at 10 until one person is left sitting. That person wins. I like to use a sing-song chant and as soon as the kids have sufficient numeracy go backwards. 1-10 then reverse directions and go 10-1(in this game 1 would sit down). To make it playful use different voices, gender groups, age groups or loud/soft voices.

Hope that helps your September transitions. Let us know what are your top 3 transition activities or songs.
Liz

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