Bell Ringers, Warm-ups, and More.
Bell ringers, warm-ups, whatever you call them, are activities that students independently complete at the beginning of class. If you establish your routines and expectations students eventually need little to no redirection to complete the activity. I use two technology tools as a part of the routine for our daily bell ringer. One is Google Slides and the other is a Chrome extension called CraftyText.
Let’s start with Google Slides. I realize that it is nothing new and fancy, but it is simple, easy to use and quick to update each week. Check out my bell ringer Slides presentation for my two math classes (click the image to view).
As you noticed when you looked through the presentation it is pretty simple. I created a page for each day of the week and duplicated it for each class I teach. In this presentation, the bell ringers are for my two math classes. Since we follow the same routine it is efficient to have them in the same Slide presentation. As I am lesson planning I update the page numbers or change to an alternate activity. When students enter the classroom this presentation is posted and they know what to do and can get started independently.
Are you someone who doesn’t plan that far in advance? Do you work a little more last minute? That’s completely fine with me because I also use a Chrome Extension called CraftyText. Add CraftyText in your Chrome Browser by visiting this link that takes you to the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, the icon looks like this in your tool bar:
To use CraftyText, click on the icon in your tool bar and a separate box opens over the webpage you are on. Then type the information about your bell ringer and select the display button at the bottom of the box. The text is then displayed on the web page. It doesn’t create a new page and is easy to close when you are ready to move to the next part of your lesson. I like CraftyText because it is quick and easy to display information to the class. You don’t have to plan ahead and can put it on the screen for students as they are walking into class. Watch this video for a quick CraftyText tutorial.