The Benefits of Bell Ringers in Secondary ELA
Bell ringers, do nows, warmups. Whatever you call them, they shouldn’t be an afterthought in your planning. If you use bell ringers thoughtfully in ELA, there are benefits for both you and your students. Here are some reasons you should use bell ringers in your secondary classroom.
Fill Content Gaps
If you always feel pressed for time, bell ringers are a great way to squeeze in content. If your textbook or unit curriculum is lacking in a certain area, bell ringers are a great way to pull in that missing content without making major changes to your pacing guide.
With the last few textbooks my school has used, grammar instruction has disappeared. We went from having a complete grammar textbook to having an occasional blurb about grammar every few chapters. With a set curriculum that I have to follow, bell ringers are a great way to familiarize my students with grammar again. Click here to check out my grammar bell ringer journal.
Bell ringers help maximize the time you spend with your students. Bell ringers that can be done independently can give you time to take attendance, speak to the student who was just absent for a week, write another student a pass to the bathroom, and manage any students coming in late. There are always those days when everyone needs something when they walk in. With time built in for a meaningful independent bell ringer, all of those things that pop up won’t push back the start of your lesson.
Reinforce and Review
Bell ringers can be used strategically to reinforce skills your students are currently working on. They can be used as formative assessments to monitor students’ progress and help guide instruction. They can also be used to review material before summative assessments.
If you like a structured classroom or want to work on your classroom management, routines are important. The routine of a daily bell ringer helps calm students from the moment they enter your room.
Bell ringers don’t need to be elaborate or time consuming. When planning, think about your goal and students’ needs. If you want to try some free bell ringers, click here for three free weeks of writing and grammar bell ringers.