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Bell Ringer Exercises

Bell Ringer Exercises
Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores. Journal prompts and concept questions can focus students on nutritious academic content and initiate a positive tempo for the next 90 minutes of class. With the help of graduate student David Fictum, I collected several creative, practical and entertaining exercises that can function as bell ringers or sponge activities. Here they are: Journaling Education über-blogger Vicki Davis writes 20 things she is thankful for in a joy journal, citing research studies indicating that this practice produces greater long-term happiness than winning the lottery -- serious happy. Lateral Thinking Brain Food lists number and logic puzzles. Situation: A man marries 20 women in his village but isn't charged with polygamy. Pop Culture

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Six Great Vocab Games Here’s six online vocabulary games I’ve been using with my classes recently: Test Your Vocab: Not – strictly speaking – a game, this website seeks to measure the number of words you know and then tells you the size of your vocabulary. If the learners are honest and don’t cheat, this could be a useful tool in helping them measure their progress, though presumably the more often they do it, the more familiar they’ll become with the test words. And of course they could go off and research the test word corpus….

How to Teach High School Science: Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding Judy Jones I remember when I first started teaching that I felt successful if I could just have a decent lesson each day, manage student behavior(!) and keep up with all the paperwork! But as the years progressed I found that my focus changed. I still wanted to craft interesting and standards-based lessons and I certainly wanted my students to be focused and engaged, but I also became very interested in knowing how well my students were processing and retaining what I was teaching. Classroom Activities: Quick Fillers Need an infusion of quick activities for those times when lessons finish early, schedules get disrupted, or the dismissal bell has ten more minutes to go? These quick filler activities are perfect for keeping even the most fidgety kids productively engaged during transition times. Mascot Toss-Across Energizes Creative Writing Alice Garner pulls out the school's mascot — a stuffed leopard — to add energy and excitement to a let's-write-it-together activity. "The leopard is loosely stuffed, about five inches long, and has a voice box; it roars if dropped or squeezed too tightly," explains Garner, a teacher in Leland, North Carolina.

Teaching My Friends!: Crafting Power Sentences This post is about a chart I created with my friends over a three day period. It was really review for us, so the lessons were sort of quick hits. We did a section of the chart, they practiced in their writer's notebook with a quick share. My goal was just to review some areas in writing and grammar that I've seen they need a little reminding about. This is what the chart looked like at the end of day three: As you can see, it's a busy chart. Twelve rules for arranging your classroom I was fortunate enough to have my own classroom during my first year of teaching. My school building was too small to provide every faculty member that luxury. Some colleagues taught in a different room every period, using carts to transport their materials. Others at neighboring schools settled into trailers that had been rented to handle an unexpected increase in the number of students enrolled.

Señorita Creativa: Great Time-Fillers for the Classroom Good evening! Tonight I wanted to post about some of my favorite time-fillers for any classroom, although these work especially well in a language classroom. The first time filler I want to share is almost completely no-prep, is a great review of vocabulary, and can be adapted for any topic at any level. All you have to do is pick a category (ie: fruits, things each student likes, supplies you can find in a backpack, words that describe your family, etc) and have each student (or pair) come up with 5 (or how ever many words you choose) that fit that category. At the higher levels, you can even give them a letter all of their words have to begin with (similar to the board game Scattergories by Hasbro).

8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom Editor's Note: Author David Bill is a designer and educator who consulted with The Third Teacher+ on the Remake Your Class project highlighted in the videos below. The tips in this post go along with the companion video. We are excited by the simplicity (and low price tag!) *Riddles and Brain Teasers* It is great to have an assortment of riddles, word or number problems, and brain teasers on hand that you can give to the class. You can use these during snack time to keep everyone quietly seated, during small breaks during the day, and even at the end of the day to wind down. You can also write some on the board (more difficult ones) at the beginning of the day, and let the students know that they can think about them throughout the day, and the first to come up with the correct answer will get a prize.

Happy by Pharrell Williams This is a great song to play to your students at any time,but the regular structure of the chorus provides a good opportunity for some pronunciation awareness, drilling and creating our own version of the song. There are three versions of the video included in the lesson, the original version, a lyrics version and a Saigon (my city) version. There are lots of other versions from different cities, so have a look for yours on YouTube.