Post By:

Kristine Spindler Denton

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Classroom Transition Strategies - Lesson Plan


Introduce the term “Transitioning.” Ask students for definition ideas, and determine a class definition.


Discuss why transitioning can be difficult and allow students to share their feelings about abruptly switching focus to something new.

Work Period

Students answer questions one and two on the Transition Strategy Activity Worksheet.

Students then share why transitioning is hard for them and how it feels.

Ask students how it would feel if they could find a strategy to help them transition more smoothly. Direct students to answer question three on the worksheet.

Break students into activity team and show an example of a transitioning strategy (see pg. 4 for list of Transitioning Strategies).

Student teams present their transition strategy ideas, acting out how the strategy would work with one student being the “teacher.”


Students complete questions five and six on the Transition Strategy Activity Worksheet. Allow students to share their responses if they’re comfortable.

Classroom Transition Strategies - List of Strategies

Meditation Minutes

Teacher rings/plays a soft bell to signal time to finish up. Students practice deep breathing for one minute before beginning the next activity.


Teacher claps 3 times to let the student know to start finishing up. Students reply with one clap. One minute later, teachers give t wo claps and students respond with one clap. Then when it is time, teachers give one clap and students respond.

Transition Cards

Teacher uses different colored Transition Cards (green to orange to red) to silently post up on the board and countdown before transitioning.


Teacher plays a specific song to signal time to finish up.


Teacher starts a countdown for students to finish their current activity before transitioning to a new activity.

Classroom Transition Strategies - Student Activity

  1. What is the hardest part of transitioning from one activity to another?
  2. How do you feel when a transition happens abruptly and not gradually?
  3. How would you feel if you had a strategy to help you transition more smoothly?
  4. List your team's two transitioning strategies.
  5. What transition strategy do you think would work the best for you, and why do you think it will work?
  6. Is there a time when you would like to practice using this strategy (at home or school)?

Access the downloadable Classroom Transition Strategies Lesson Plan and Activity here.

You can learn more about using class transition strategies in our Classroom Transition Strategies for Autistic Students blog post!

Our online SEL video game Ava and its supplemental curriculum have already impacted students in 200+ schools and therapy centers throughout the world. Want to learn how Ava can enhance your SEL program? Let's talk.

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