National Association for the Education of Young Children
Young Children

Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children
  About YC

Table of Contents

Beyond the Journal Online Events and Discussions

Voices of Practitioners


Moving Right Along
Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior


This distance learning Web event was based on the article in the May 2008 issue of Young Children,Moving Right Along…Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior,” byMary Louise Hemmeter, Michaelene M. Ostrosky, Kathleen M. Artman, and Kiersten A. Kinder.

The event was coordinated by NAEYC in partnership with the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI), with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. 

In most preschool settings only a few children are likely to engage in persistent challenging behavior. On any given day, however, there may be a number of children who engage in some form of challenging behavior. Transitions from one activity to another are times when children are more likely to have a difficult time. Children’s challenging behavior during transitions may be related to how program staff structure, schedule, and implement transitions. Challenging behavior is more likely to occur when there are too many transitions, all the children transition at the same time in the same way, transitions are too long and children spend too much time waiting with nothing to do, and there are not clear instructions.

The Young Children article and the Web event offer a discussion of why challenging behavior occurs during transitions, strategies for planning and implementing more effective transitions, ideas for using transitions to teach social skills and emotional competencies, and a planning process for working with children who continue to have difficulty during transitions.

Multimedia Presentation

This multimedia presentation includes the presentation by authors Hemmeter and Ostrosky with synchronized recorded audio.  When you are ready to begin, click here to hear and view the presentation.  Below are links to resources for the event:

Every line has a leader and a caboose.
So keep your line straight and make sure it's not too loose!
Just walk and walk and walk in line.
Keep your hands to yourself and you’ll do just fine!

Related resources on transitions

From Beyond the Journal—Young Children on the Web


Click on the links for a complete list of CSEFEL What Works Briefs and Training Kits.
Selected resources include—

Brochures, online chats, training modules


Beyond the Journal—Young Children on the Web, May 2008.
Copyright © 2008 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. See Permissions and Reprints online at

Return to Beyond the Journal Table of Contents