No Series: Choreograph Your Classroom

Choreograph Your Classroom

Lesson Objective: Help students move quickly and efficiently around the classroom
All Grades / All Subjects / Management


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. Why is it important to think about "choreographing your classroom" prior to teaching?
  2. How does the effort put into teaching transitions pay off in the long term?
  3. Why does Ms. Saul have students talk about what transitions look like, sound like, and feel like?


  • Private message to Lindsey Douglas

1. So students will know the procedures .

2.The teacher doesn't have to spend much time going over rules. they will know what to expect.

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  • Private message to Deborah Proctor

1. It is important to "choreograph" your class prior to teaching so that your students will know the procedures and expectations to follow to keep the room safe, orderly and ready for learning. 

2. The effort put into teaching transition pays off big because students know what to do in an orderly, safe and friendly fashion, therefore, the teacher does not have to spend time telling students what to do but can spend the time instead doing what she needs to do . . . Teaching  the learners!

3. Ms. Saul has her students spend time talking about what transition time looks, feels like and sounds like so that the students will be well versed in knowing what is expected and will do what is expected. 

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  • Private message to Brad Bristol
Excellent ideas.
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  • Private message to Dan Moretski
Great idea! Thanks for sharing
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  • Private message to Benita Eldridge
Fantastic--Great food for thought! Thanks for sharing.
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  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: I have a background of being a fine arts dance major. Working with choreography, and moving people’s

    Interviewer: I have a background of being a fine arts dance major. Working with choreography, and moving people’s bodies through a certain series or steps in a dance has been beneficial to me in the classroom. Because I pretty much choreograph my day.

    I really think about the flow of them to the carpet, back to their desk, now in groups, now separated. Try to choreograph it, so that it’s smooth, and that there’s a natural flow, which cuts out on a lot of side talk when you’re switching from one activity to the next.

    But even if you don’t have a background in dance, you can really focus on the flow of your classroom because we all drive. We know what it’s like to weave in and out of traffic. You have to think about the pathways in your classroom.

    I literally will tell students, “This is your aisle. When you come to the carpet you’re gonna go down this aisle, and when you come to the carpet from this side you’re gonna go down this aisle,” so that there is not congestion.

    Another thing that helps with flow, when you’re standing up and leaving the carpet, we all stand up at the same time. Nobody starts walking ‘til everybody’s standing up. Once everybody’s standing up, then they get the signal walk, that way nobody is stepped on.

    We practice our routines. We practice our transitions. We have long conversations about what it looks like, sounds like and feels like when you go from your desk to the carpet. It’s worth the investment up front because later it allows you to spend more time actually learning.

    [End of Audio]


Jen Saul
English Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Arts / 3 / Teacher


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