I have song clips linked to each one of the buttons, so when I or my class D.J. (one of our daily jobs) clicks on a button, the music plays automatically. This is completely routine now! During stations, my D.J. will signal clean up time with the "clean up chime" (aka NBC chime), wait 15 seconds and then click on "move to new location" to signal the transition to the next station. I never have to say a word and my kids move smoothly from station to the next! Here is a break down of our signals:
Clean Up Chime- NBC chime
Move to New Location- Password
Line Up- short version of the Andy Griffith theme song
Meet at the Carpet- Cagney & Lacey
Think, Pair, Share time- Beethoven's Minuet in G
P.O.D. Mission Math (Problem of the Day time)- Mission Impossible theme song
I absolutely love how my students have come to recognize and respond to these nonverbal cues. It took a few weeks of practice at the beginning of the school year (btw, I introduced the transition cues one at a time) but they quickly got the hang of it and it has become one of my favorite (and easiest!) management techniques. Not to mention my kids think being the daily D.J. is the coolest and most important class job ever!
Anyone else use music for transitioning in their classroom? I'd love to read how it works for you! Please leave me a comment below.
8/20/12 Update: I've received so many e-mails and comments requesting me to share my transition music file. Thanks for your interest! I have finished creating a version that does not infringe on any copyright laws. My sweet hubby helped me draw the graphics for the buttons. :) I've included 12 pre-made templates and 12 editable text templates as well as step by step instructions for adding text, song clips, etc. Click on the image to read the description and grab it if you are interested!