You already know the first few moments of class are critical. It’s when tone is set and students are most attentive and excited.
It’s also when you’re just coming in from watching the hall, need to take attendance, answer a ringing phone, and deal with late students.
Is there solution to this? Yes there is. Here’s a simple class starter to get your students engaged from the moment they enter your classroom while giving you a chance to take care of your essential housekeeping items.
Decide what the most important key term is in your lesson tomorrow (hint- it’s probably a vocab. word). Write that word on your board. When your students come in have them take out a sheet of notebook paper, write down the word, find it in the book, and write 2 facts about it.
Chalkboard with science key term of the day written on it
It will take your students about 3-4 minutes to do this, which is just the time you could use to get yourself fully prepared for the lesson.
When your students are done writing their facts, call on a few to share one of their facts. You can use that opportunity to start small discussions and ask them questions to see how well they understand the concept.
The next day, do the same with another word.
Sure, this will take time to train your students to do. But after a week of so you’ll can start reaping the benefit of getting yourself fully prepared for class while your students’ minds are being primed.
And speaking of benefits, here are a few you’ll enjoy with this bellringer:
- Students enter with purpose since there’s already something they know they have to do
- Books are already opened when you start the lesson
- Discipline: class is more settled and waiting for you to begin
- Class is already thinking about the major topic of the day before you say a word
- When you use this term in class you know your students have a decent idea what you’re talking about; you used to hope and assume they did
- When discussing/sharing facts, information flows from them to you instead of the other way around (think about that one), and hence…
- You’ll have student-led discussion about the most important idea of the day during the most important part of the class period
Here’s a downloadable copy of this science class starter you can keep on your computer, or print.
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