Here is a quick tip that can make transitions less chaotic. This is certainly not an original idea, but it is worth sharing, in case you do not already use this transition strategy.
My students and I work together to assign each group of tables a name. I hang signs above the student tables, so
the students I remember what their table names are because they change every 3 weeks or so. Whenever we move on to a new theme, the signs change: "On the Farm," we use farm animal names, "Family," we use adjectives to describe different types of families, "On the Go," we use modes of transportation, etc.
These photos show the signs we use for our "All About Me" theme. I simply chose exciting adjectives that describe my students. :)
I recommend using fun table names because it helps when you are calling tables to line up, clean up, whatever the case may be. Oh yeah, one more thing...be sure to make your signs double-sided. I learned this the hard way. At first, they were only single-sided, but then I couldn't read them when they twisted and turned!
Thanks for stopping by! :)