Lesson Transitions

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About 9 months ago I started working as a casual academic for Deakin University, Faculty of Education, in Victoria. Students are placed in schools for at least 80 days, depending upon their course. They work along students and experienced teachers and my role is one of professional support to both student and teacher.

It’s within this role that I began to appreciate that my role is often like a bridge where I connect the University’s course based on answering the why questions of education with the practical how questions in teaching. Of course this is a simple dichotomy that masks the many aspects of learning at university but useful I feel in this context.

So why this post?

Well in the past 9 months similar questions are being raised by “teachers in training” and I thought some useful bridge type links might be useful.

The links connect David Sousa work on connecting brain research with teaching.

In planning lessons or episodes, as some call them, teachers in training often don’t recognise that it’s when students move from one phase of the lesson to the next (transitions) that learning is affected.

I’ve focused on transitions before primary (mini-lessons) and recency (summaries or reflections) blocks  as transitions when not intentionally planned might lead to:

I’ve seen whole groups of students move at once (pictured above) and others in managed groups. I’ve seen some transitions between the mini lesson and the practice task take 15 minutes (is it any wonder why some students forget the instructions) and others take 1 minute.

There is no one way for students to transition – there are many and the reasons vary. But some general tips might be useful.


Please remember effect transitions are ones that are also practiced, in some cases daily in term 1 as we build effective learning communities in classrooms.