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About this video

Transitions from one activity to another can be fun and educational. The children in this clip make the transition from circle time to choice time with an activity that helps them learn to recognize their names and, in some instances, those of their friends. Not only is it a more pleasant experience than “lining up,” this type of transition activity is also more efficient.

This mixed-age group of 15 children made the transition to snack in 2 minutes, 11 seconds, including the introduction (1 minute, 41 seconds without the introduction). In the course of the transition, Pam was able to help several children who needed more support. For example, she reviewed the letters in his name with one child, prompted another to look at the print on the tag, and reminded another to wash his hands. The children in this clip attend a mixed-age early childhood center sponsored by a public university.



Pam M.: Well, I’m going to make some trail mix today in the Table Area, if anybody would like to help cook today. We don’t have to bake anything today. We just have to take a bowl and mix different things inside and stir it. So, it’s a pretty easy one.

Grandma: And I’ll play Peek in the Garden, which is just fun.

Lisa Lee: Are you going to play it in the Game Area?

Grandma: Sure.

Lisa Lee: Okay, so Peek in the Garden is happening in the Game Area; the bounce experiment is happening outside, Alex; and Pam’s going to be cooking in the Table Area; and snack is out.

Pam M.: (Holds up tags with names printed on them.) I have the names. Whose name is on top? (Looks at Sandra who is sitting on her lap. Sandra takes the tag and stands.) That worked out, huh? I’m going to hold your names up, so you have to turn around and look at me, and see if you recognize your name. (Holds up another name tag.) Turn around and look at me… Oops, he’s not looking at me.

(Justin, 3.7 years old, turns and looks at Pam. She smiles.) It’s you, isn’t it Justin? (Justin takes tag and leaves for choice time.)

(Pam holds up another tag.) Whose name is this? (Hands tag to a child.)

(Pam holds up another tag.) How about this friend?

Zoe (4.2 years old): (Points at Alex.) You, that’s you, that’s you.

Pam M.: (Alex walks toward her.) Is it you?

Alex (4.7 years old): Yes.

Pam M.: A-L-E-X, yup, you’re ready. How about this person? (Holds up a tag.)

Tariah: That’s me.

Pam M.: That’s right. You guys are getting good at recognizing your Choice Time name, now (holds up another tag).

Caleb (3.4 years old): Me (takes his tag and leaves).

Pam M.: How about this friend? (Vivian, 3.11 years old, takes her tag and leaves the circle area.) Snack is out—cottage cheese and pineapple, and crackers. You guys have lots of food to eat today (holds up tag, and Zoe comes to get it). How about this friend? (Holds a tag up. Amarrion, 3.8 years old, comes toward her.) Is that you, Amarrion? There you go. (Holds up another tag, and a child takes it and leaves.) Did you wash your hands, Caleb?

Caleb: No.

Pam M.: (Continuing to hold up tags and pass them out to children.) Well, you’d better take care of that. Whose name is this? (Holding up a tag.) Yoo, hoo (smiles as Hassan, 3.10 years old, comes to get the tag). I know you recognize yours. How about this one? (Joseph, 4.4 years old, takes it.) How about this one? (Treyshaun, 5.1 years old, takes it.) (Realizing that Joseph is holding his in his mouth.) Oh, Joe, use your hands to take your name card.

Benchmarks and How They Were Met

BenchmarksHow They Were Met
Language Arts
1.A.ECa: Follow simple one-, two- and three-step directions.
The children listened and followed instructions for the transition activity.
Language Arts
1.A.ECb: Respond appropriately to questions from others.
Alex answered, “Yes” to Pam’s question, “Is it you?”

Caleb responded, “No” to Pam’s question, “Did you wash your hands?”
Language Arts
1.B.ECa: Use language for a variety of purposes.
Zoe recognized Alex’s name and told him, “You, that’s you.”
Language Arts
1.D.ECb: Speak using age-appropriate conventions of Standard English grammar and usage.
Zoe told Alex, “You, that’s you.”
Social/emotional Development
30.A.ECd: Begin to understand and follow rules.
Children did not leave the circle until Pam held up their name tags.

Note: This video clip was made possible by STARnet Regions I & III with funding from the Illinois State Board of Education.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Preschool Program

Intended audience(s):
  • Teachers / Service providers

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2017