What is a bellringer?
If you ask 10 different teachers, you will get 10 different answers. And then, if you ask 10 administrators or curriculum legislators, you will add even more definitions to the list. Some see bellringers as a means for standardized test prep, while others see them as an opportunity to review previously taught content.
My definition is a bit different:Bellringers are the perfect tool to help students get a head start on each daily lesson. More importantly, they serve many purposes that not only help the student, but also help the teacher:
- Acts as a classroom management tool, helping students shift from free time to learning time as the bell for class is ringing.
- Provides the classroom teacher a brief opportunity at the beginning of class to take attendance and ready the lesson materials.
- Introduces the lesson topic or starts student thinking in the direction required for the lesson objectives.
- Allows student input on the topic or on related themes that may enhance student understanding or learning.
- Helps to establish connections for the student with the content about to be taught.
- Gives students an opportunity to share opinions on core subjects or to reflect on controversial topics.
- Serves as a launching board for classroom discussion and introduction on the lesson topic.
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