Bellringers/Do Nows for High School English

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Mr.M, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Mr.M

    Mr.M Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2015

    What do you do for bellringers/do nows when the students walk in the room?

    I focus on mechanics, usage, and grammar, as well as commonly confused/misspelled words on Mondays through Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays, I typically show CNN Student News and have a brief group discussion. My students always seem to enjoy talking about current events.

    I am looking forward to hearing about your ideas as I plan for the beginning of the year!
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2015

    I've done different things and haven't fallen into the perfect plan, yet.

    This year I am going to do some word work. Ppt slide with word, 2 sentences using word. Students will copy in a notebook. Then, slide 2 we will discuss as a class. It will contain the definition, related words, synonyms, antonyms.

    Then, quiz every dozen or so words. They will have their notebooks to review.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2015

    I do short journals most days. Sometimes I'll review grammar but mostly it's just journaling.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2015

    I alternate between grammar and journals. This year with my speech students, two days a week they will read magazines for ten minutes, then have five minutes to answer some questions on a quarter sheet of paper.

    KU, if I were still teaching English, I would definitely adopt that for vocabulary.
     
  6. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Aug 3, 2015

    I just have a question on the board for them to answer. Sometimes, it's serious. Sometimes, it's funny.

    I don't think I would ever change because I learn a lot about the students from them. Kids who seemingly have great lives have little self-esteem. Or, one kid makes dinner for his family every night because he likes to cook and is thinking that's what he wants to do after high school.

    I think it's beneficial to me because I learn so much about them.
     
  7. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2015

    It depends on my class. 8th, 9th, and 10th do grammar on M, spelling on T, vocabulary on W, writing on Th, and reading on F. 11th and 12th I haven't quite figured out bellringers for. I tend to do the same except on T they do timed essays and maybe TH they do sat prep. Last year I did TED Talk Tuesdays, but I couldn't find enough talks I wanted to share. I'm thinking of doing 20Time this year with my upperclassmen instead of SSR Fri.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 3, 2015

    I usually do things that go with my lessons. Either getting them ready to think about some things, or reviewing the previous lesson.
    Examples when we read a novel:
    - vocabulary activities (copy words+definitions from the board, synonyms, match word+definitions, create sentences, fill in words, etc. I have enough for every day)
    - questions about what we've read the previous day, sometimes these are quick 5 question quizzes
    - questions about opinions
    - predictions on what could be happening next

    I also got in the habit of having them copy down the learning objectives in the beginning of a unit (a unit is usually 2-3 weeks), and then we go over it.

    You can always do grammar, especially if you feel that you don't focus on it too much. Or journals. I feel that journals are most effective if they're done every day, but I don't think they have to be done as a bell ringer, they could be done at the end of the class.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 4, 2015

    DGpiaffe, Platypus, and others who do daily journaling -- how often do you collect and read those journals? I have always done this with my English classes but have only ever had one section of English at a time (I also teach WL). This year I will have multiple sections of Senior English and do want to use journals, but dread the thought of having huge stacks of journals to read through. Any tips or tricks to keep it from being a huge time-suck?
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2015

    It's a little pricey, but on TeachersPayTeachers, there is a product called A Full Year of Bell Ringers that is absolutely FANTASTIC. It's $21 and worth every penny!

    It's very structured... Monday: Lit Terms, Tuesday: Discussion prompt, Wednesday: Quote of the Week, Thursday: Video Journal (with an embedded video)... Fridays were open. We always watched CNN student news and wrote a synopsis of a news story, but you could do vocabulary or grammar.

    The kids loved it! Their favorites were the video journals, but they got in to all of it. She also gives two versions of the lit terms, one with a specific piece and one without. I can't say enough good things about this product.
     
  11. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Aug 4, 2015

    I read them once a week. I don't require them to write a lot. A paragraph at least (about half the kids write more) and Friday is always free write or draw so most kids draw a picture unless they have a rant.

    I grade on completion only on these. I don't look at grammar, spelling or anything like that. I do try to comment on all of them even if it's just a smiley face by something that amused me.

    It really does go by quickly. And I enjoy grading them. Timed write on the other hand, every time I start to grade those, I wonder why I assigned it in the first place.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2015

    Not nearly as often as I should. I try to get them in the grade book once per quarter, but I really stress that these are for them. I check my trouble makers more often ;) I too grade for completion. My AP kids get checked far less often. We do talk about the prompts a lot, which gives me an idea of where they're at.
     
  13. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2015

    I don't have a plan for bell ringers this year. Last year, I found them tedious, and I felt like I didn't have enough time for my content. Last year we did grammar and mechanics every day. The trouble I had with this is that some students would enter the classroom 3.5 minutes before the bell rings, get their stuff out, and finish the bell ringer right away. I had other students sitting down as the bell rang, and taking a full minute to get their binders out, find a pencil, and begin working. So 1 minute after the bell rang, 1/2 my students were finished, and 1/2 hadn't even started. So it was difficult.

    I have the expectation that students enter the classroom, get materials, and sit quietly in their seats until the bell rings. I might just stick with that.

    I like the idea of showing the student news videos.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 5, 2015

    Those of you that do journals, what kind of notebook are you using?
    At my school we provide supplies, so if i want them to use journals, I need to provide them. I'm think a small composition book, but last I checked they were $.75-$1, and that would kill my budget, especially since we have a lot of students come and go (get locked up, then come back at some point, get accepted to their district at the end of semester, get kicked out from their school at any given moment, or dropout from us). So I'd have a lot of journals that are started, used a couple of pages and then the student is gone. I can tear out the pages, but they often like to draw on the cover or the inside (even though I have insisted that they don't that on their folders, or anywhere, a lot of them still do), and it's often gang related.
    What should I do? I would like to use journals, probably at the end of the class, 2-3 times / week.
     
  15. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2015

    I buy my student notebooks... Walmart usually has 70 page wide ruled spiral bound notebooks for 5 cents. I just picked up 10 of them yesterday for 15 cents each, but I am waiting to see if they go down.
     
  16. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2015

    Linguist, you could also do a "weekly journal page" on regular writing paper with a week's worth of entries on one page (they could staple more if needed) that you would collect at the end of the week. Saves you buying notebooks, wasting them if kids switch schools, etc...actually not a bad idea for myself as well, save time flipping through notebook pages...
     
  17. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Thank you! I think this is fairly priced! Considering it is for an entire YEAR.
    I just made the purchase. It's worth it. And even if I decide not to use this every day, I will have a back-up in case I can't think of anything else.

    What I was doing before this though was creating warm-ups based on the lesson covered the previous day or anything related to the standard being covered that week.
     

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