Bell ringers are essential to any classroom. Bell ringers can offer a positive start to classroom management, introduction to the day’s lesson, or review of yesterday’s material. If you do not have this in your daily agenda, the first day back in January is the perfect time to start! It allows you to take attendance, gather your materials for class, and even finish that quick email. One of the most important, but challenging parts is having the students come into your classroom and begin bell ringers without you prompting them. Remember to stick with it! It might take a month, but it will become a habit for them. Here are our favorite Bell Ringers:
Google forms is our favorite way to start class! This is becoming more and popular in middle and high schools, so why not integrate them anyway you can. The downside is that your students have to have tablets or computer each day. Google forms allows student answers to go into an excel spreadsheet rather than a wasteful stack of papers that you stare at for weeks. It is easier to see who answered and who has yet to answer without walking around the room picking up papers. Google forms allows you to create a daily prompt. The prompts can be long answer, short answer, multiple choice, and even include pictures. A constant variety of questions will help keep your students motivated. If you have state mandated testing, this is a wonderful way to integrate test questions into your daily lesson.
Dry Erase Boards
Before my students had their own tablets, I used dry erase boards for the bell ringer. There was a box next to the door and students grabbed the boards, markers, and rag before they even sat down. Each morning I wrote the “Question of the Day” in the same spot on my board. Students would write down their answers and would hold them up once I stood in front of the class. This was a super easy spot check. Once the spot check is complete, I had 3 designated kids that walked around to grab everything.
Plastic binder sheets or laminated sheets
This works much like the dry erase boards bell ringer, but is better suited for correcting errors in ELA or labeling in any subject. Want to make sure students can properly label parts of a plant cell? Do you want students to find the incorrect tenses or verb usage? This is a great review tactic and will allow you to reteach any material that is causing issues for students. You can reteach material before moving on to that day’s topics. This is so important for students!
Consistency, consistency, consistency is the key to making bell ringers successful. No, you are not tied down to one method, but you want to make sure you have one every day. This will help with your classroom management and start off each class successfully. Plus, administrators love seeing them in your lesson!