If you asked me what teaching resource I could not live without, I would 100% say bell-ringers! They absolutely transformed the first 5-10 minutes of chaos in my classroom and also engage my students in thoughtful discussion, reflective writing, and new learning. Below are my 7 favorite ways to start my English classes with bell-ringers.
1. VIDEO JOURNALS
The idea of using videos as bell-ringers came after an interaction with a student in my grade 10 English class. The student sauntered into class at the bell, took a couple of bites out of his chocolate bar, and threw the rest in the trash. Obviously, I was horrified. Who throws out perfectly good chocolate? I asked him if there was something wrong with the chocolate bar, and he said that he was just full.
2. DISCUSSION / DEBATE
3. INTRODUCE LITERARY TERMS
4. INTRODUCE NEW VOCABULARY
Help students develop their vocabulary by introducing new terms at the start of each week. Along with my literary term bulletin board, I also have a board dedicated to the word of the week. I usually provide an example of a vocabulary word in a paragraph and have students determine the meaning of the word in context. Then, they write their own example of the word in a sentence on a post-it and add it to the bulletin board! You can also encourage students to use the word that week. If you want this to actually happen, candy is a great motivator! (Check out my Words of the Week).