Every teacher needs those 5-10 minutes to take care of daily tasks such as attendance, tending to student needs, and more. We usually fill this time with small activities pertaining to the day’s or previous day’s lesson called Bell ringers (I call them appetizers)! These are usually activities that the students can do on their own without the teacher’s assistance. They also need to be ready to go once the students first enter the classroom or they won’t work. Below are a few ideas for creating some of your own bell ringers.
- Vocabulary-have students define and illustrate terms either from the day’s chapter or the previous day’s lesson. These illustrations may be used to create your word wall. A great activity to do at the start or end of each chapter.
- Graphic Organizers-Write a word or lesson topic on the board and have the students complete graphic organizers. These usually give the students a chance to organize their thoughts about what they are about to learn and also discover how much they know about the topic already.
- Current Events-Have students pick up newspapers as they enter and find articles related to family and consumer sciences and summarize them. Then throughout the class, you can call on a student to update the class on their event by saying “student’s name, This Just In…” This is very fun, it keeps your students on their toes, and it’s like little news updates throughout the class period which is great for transitions.
- Students Lead the Lesson-Write a topic on the board and allow students to write questions for what they would like to know about the topic. Be prepared to answer such questions as: how they can use this in the real world and why is it important and other validation questions. You would then take up the questions and address a question either every few minutes or use it to deliver your entire question. This would give students a sense of ownership in what they are learning, and also provides information to them that they really want to know.
- Essential Questions– Just turn your learning objectives into questions and have students write down the answers to them. You can do more than one per day if you like.
- Review of yesterday’s lesson– Ask students something from the previous day’s lesson and even ask how it relates to today’s topic.
- Other ideas– Silent reading, riddles related to the lesson, puzzles, journal topics, problem solving.
Be sure to have a variety of bell ringers so that they do not get old and/or stale and also be sure to have all materials ready to go when students enter the classroom. Have a FACS-tastic week!!!