Classroom Discipline Tips for Children & Youth Workers, Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

Plan well for those transitional times between activities.

object lesson for classroom discipline tip

Behavior problems seem to be most prevalent during transitional periods. Children may be confused or frustrated, not understanding what they are expected to do next. Be sure instructions are clearly given and repeated as necessary and within their capabilities.

Transitional periods break down when boredom has a chance to set in. If the time between activities is too lengthy, children with excess time on their hands will want to fill it. If you do not offer something constructive for them to do during these times, they will most likely end up distracting the rest of the class.   ---By the way, what is that frog doing at the top of the page?

Make transitions relevant and flowing from one activity to another. Be prepared for children who complete a project before the others are finished. Give them additional work rather than have them sit around idly ... and not just busywork lest the student catches on and determines on his own that what you gave him to do is irrelevant. You don't want to throw your students into mental passivity during transitional times. Busywork tends to bore students and when they are bored, they tend to act inappropriately.

Use activities that go beyond mere busywork. Keeping a child busy is not the goal. The time you have in the classroom is so short that you need to make every minute count. Busywork is activity that has little or no relevance to the lesson and accomplishes little besides filling in time. Busywork is activity that does not make people think. Some examples could be certain word games, trivial pursuits, pasting stickers on a work page, and the like.

Kinds of activities that would be good for transitional times:
Use activities that keep them intrigued and on target with the day's lesson. Active learning is purposeful and engages the mind as well as the body. If you need to give a child something to do while waiting for the next activity, use something that builds on what they have just done or have them do something that reinforces their learning. In some instances they could work on a project that will be used in the next activity. Specific ideas would be dependent on the lesson's content.

Have you figured out what that frog is doing at the top of the page yet? --Well, that's about what your students wonder regarding meaningless busywork you give them.

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(Last updated 3/01/15)

For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:

Handbook on Classroom Discipline      Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook

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