Many educators struggle with the task of figuring out how to start class each day or how to transition from concept to concept. Due to nature of switching class to class, students often struggle to mentally prepare to transition to a different subject. A popular solution to these problems is the idea of bellringers. These start-of-class activities benefit both students and teachers.
What Is a Bellringer?
A bellringer is an activity, small assignment or mini-assessment that students complete when they first enter the classroom. Bellringers typically consist of questions or prompts related to the concept(s) currently discussed in class. Many teachers make them short so that they don’t take up too much class time, but they can also be incorporated in the lesson plan to guide the concept(s) for class.
How Do Bellringers Benefit Students?
Students benefit from bellringers because it allows them to get in the mindset of the concepts that will be discussed in class. Bellringers also allow students to get in the habit of transitioning from class to class and preparing for various tasks. Students benefit from bellringers because they become more engaged as they typically lead to discussion to begin the lesson.
How Do Teachers Benefit from Bellringers?
Teachers use bellringers to help present a concept discussed in class and to measure students’ familiarity with the concept. Bellringers also assess the level of understanding that students have on a certain concept discussed in a previous lesson. Aside from these learning benefits, teachers can use bellringers as crowd control as students enter the classroom. Bellringers also allow teachers to take care of housekeeping without wasting any class time.
What Kind of Bellringers are There?
Teachers often struggle with brainstorming for bellringers, but because every subject is unique, teachers have complete creative control. For an English/Grammar class, a bellringer may consist of sentences that students have to correct. For a Math class, practice problems pertaining to the previous day’s lesson can assess the comprehension of a concept. Bellringers can be tailored for all students and courses; there are also many resources available online.
Overall, bellringers are a great way to prepare both teachers and students for the class period. Switching from class to class with only a few minutes for a break can be stressful for all, so bellringers are a great solution to help complete class-to-class tasks.
Text by Jonathan Mendoza