Congratulations to the winners of our Early Childhood Winning Ideas Contest! Each of these entrants - teachers just like you - won $50 in Scholastic products for sharing their ideas. Thanks to everyone who submitted to the contest. And remember to check the latest contest topic for more chances to win!

by Laurel Rancitelli

With the use of the internet, it is so easy to find great clipart (right here ion Scholastic Printables!) to create a schedule chart for the children. Take advantage of numbering the list to help children to learn how to identify numerals. Use sentence strip cards that can be removed after each activity.
On the first part of the chart, you can show a clock (hand drawn) with the time that your Morning Meeting ends.
Next, show an Art activity.
List number 3 as pick up time and show children cleaning up.
Number 4 shows the Circle Time area or storytelling (clipart inserted here).
Number 5 shows the restroom and children washing hands.
Number 6 shows a cafeteria.
Number 7 shows Quiet Time clipart.
Number 8 shows children playing outside at recess.
Number 9 shows free play inside of the classroom.
Number 10 shows the Goodbye Circle.
Children can watch as each strip of the chart is removed and be prepared for what is coming next. A mini chart made on the Word Processor and laminated, can be placed in a conspicuous area as a reminder. Once children can anticipate what is coming next, transitions do not create anxiety.

by Gina Van Worth

When it is time to line up I always use the song "kindergartners please line up." I teach this song to my kiddos at the beginning of every year. After a little while all I have to do is say "Kindergarten, please line up" and they know what to do. (And they sing the song themselves."
Kindergarten Please Line Up (to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Kindergarten, please line up,
please line up,
please line up.
Kindergarten please line up
Get ready for the hall.
I will not shove
I will not push.
Will not talk,
Will not pass.
Will not lag behind the rest,
I'll line up with my class.
One hand on my hip and lip
hip and lip,
hip and lip,
One hand on my hip and lip
I'm ready for a trip.

Busy Bee Transitions
by Alexandra Ziemann

I made a wand and wrapped yellow curling ribbon up the wand. At the top I have yellow ribbon curls coming down, coiled up black pipe cleaners and jingle bells. During transition times I always take out "Busy Bee" and sing our busy bee song. The students know to get on task because if they are they will be touched on the head by busy bees' magic (the curly ribbon hanging down). They love that they can participate and have fun all the while staying on task. It's also very easy to remember to take out the wand because during transitions they are always looking for "busy bee."
Oh what fun it is to see
A teeny tiny busy bee
Staying on task
Moving right along
And having fun singing this song!

Idea for smooth transitions throughout the day
by Eileen McKenzie

One thing I have been doing for years and has been very helpful with transitions is deep breathing. I begin by saying "Lets take a deep breath, in through your nose, hold it to the count of four (using my extended fingers, 1, 2, 3, then 4), then push the old air out of your mouth. I teach afternoon kindergarten and kids are coming from many different morning activities. So we line up outside the room and begin our day together with a deep breath or two. Their bodies stop moving, they are focused. I use it throughout the day. After recess or P.E. we "leave the big energy outside and get ready to reenter the room. I tell children this is a tool they can use throughout their lives to center themselves and calm their bodies when they need or want to. It is almost like magic when 20 squirmy children all focus on their breath. We might do two or three depending on the need. The parents do it too! After they know the starting language they just fall into breath focus. I use this in my own life and share that with them.

Walking in the Hallways
by Becky Pate

Kindergarten classes make several transitions from place to place each day.  To help my students walk quietly and stay focused forward, we sign the alphabet continually until we reach our destination.  We use the American Sign Language form.

We also like to play, Monkey See, Monkey Do while walking in the hallways.  We whisper this rhyme:  Monkey see, monkey do, can you do what I do? I then do some motions with my hands, arms, and or face for the students to copy.  The students stay focused and have fun being silly, but quiet as we walk.  Note* this also works in other situations such as times we have to wait in line, or anywhere you have a minute or two to fill.