Moving between classrooms

Being able to maintain behaviour and/or independently move between classrooms reduces stress, maximizes instructional time and creates opportunities to interact with school staff.

Choose the statement below that best describes how this student handles moving between classrooms.
This will help you identify a starting point for selecting strategies (e.g., 1=specialized, 2=targeted, 3=universal).

  • 1. Requires physical assistance (e.g., assistance with mobility) and/or individual support to ensure student safety and/or to facilitate appropriate behaviour when transitioning to different classrooms within the school
  • 2. Requires frequent (i.e., more than three times per week) reminders and/or support to demonstrate appropriate behaviour when transitioning to different classrooms within the school
  • 3. May require occasional (e.g., less than twice per week) reminders but generally demonstrates appropriate behaviour when transitioning to different classrooms within the school

Universal Supports benefit all students

  • Work collaboratively with staff to ensure school-wide routines are organized to support safe and efficient movement between classrooms and other areas of the school building.
  • Work collaboratively with school staff to ensure that there are school-wide expectations for hallway behaviour between classes and that all school staff are committed to using common prompting with students, such as:
    • walk in the hallways
    • keep to the right side of the hallway and stairwell
    • use a quiet voice.
  • Develop a school-wide plan to support active supervision in hallways, including having all school staff present and visible when students are in hallways, particularly during transition times between classes.
  • Explore strategies for reducing the number of students moving through the hallways at any one time by assigning groups of students to specific entrances and/or hallways or having staggered arrival and dismissal times.
  • At the beginning of the school year, make time during classroom instruction to teach, practise and review routines for moving between classrooms.
  • Post visual reminders for hallway behaviour expectations throughout the school building and refer to them often. When appropriate, collaborate with students to develop these visual reminders.
  • Use descriptive feedback to acknowledge positive hallway behaviour demonstrated by individuals, groups of students and/or the class as a whole.

Targeted Supports benefit students with more specific needs

  • Pair individual students with positive peers who can serve as role models and provide support moving through hallways from one class to the next. Rotate these peers at regular intervals throughout the school year.
  • Provide proximity by positioning yourself nearby individual students who may require support in moving safely between classes.
  • For students who require more structure and reassurance, develop and review social stories about what they need to do when moving through hallways.
  • Some students may require additional time to transition from one location to another, and may benefit from leaving class earlier (or later) when hallways are less congested.
  • For students who experience chronic difficulties moving through the hallway between classes, develop self-monitoring strategies that students can use to reflect on and keep track of their own hallway behaviour. Work with students to identify specific and concrete language that will describe the behaviour they need to demonstrate (e.g., keep hands and feet to self, walk at least one metre behind the person ahead of you).
  • Systematically reinforce positive hallway behaviours observed.

Specialized Supports benefit the small number of students with sensory, physical, cognitive or behavioural needs that require intensive, individualized interventions

  • To facilitate mobility or to ensure physical safety, an individual student may need 1:1 adult support. This support should be provided as unobtrusively as possible, and, when possible, students should travel at the same time as other students and follow the same behaviour expectations as other students.