Bell Ringers – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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One of the great things about being an ELAR consultant for Region 10 is that we get to visit hundreds of classrooms a year. From elementary to high school, I smile to myself at how similar they are all. I can already see the secondary people crinkling up their noses at the comparison, but hear me out. If I were to compare the materials, furniture, and decorations there would be differences, but ultimately the classrooms all contain the same ingredients. Another similarity I have noticed is the dominating presence of bell ringers. Yes, I said it, BELL RINGER. If we were to investigate the history of bell ringers, we would see that they came out of necessity for secondary teachers who need to call roll, collect homework, and take care of all the other house keeping things that secondary teachers do a million times a day. But consider this, a bell ringer typically take 5-8 minutes to complete and review, which means if you only have 48 minute classes you are spending almost an entire class period a week working on bell ringers. Wait, that’s 40 minutes a week, 6.7 hours per month, and almost 3 whole days a year spent on bell ringers!!! If you have to spend this amount of time on anything in your classroom, let’s make sure it is worth every minute. Click on the link below to read the Education Week article, “When Bell-Ringers Go Bad: My Quest to Deepen Start-of-Class Activities” to see how a Texas educator made bell ringers worth every minute of her time. http://tinyurl.com/msjjypq

Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.
-Nancy

Nancy McGruder

Nancy McGruder

English language arts and reading consultant. Lover of literature and good food.

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