Daily Welcome Message & Bellringers

Does it take your students entirely too long to get situated when coming in to class??

I teach 4th grade reading to 3 different classes.  The students switch classes between three teachers. (Math, Science, and Reading)  Because of this, I constantly feel pressed for time!  At the beginning of the year, I was easily spending 10-15 minutes simply giving directions at beginning of class.  Something had to give!

Bellringer InstructionsAt my previous school, I taught 6th grade to three different classes, so I was no stranger to pressed time.  I remembered how effective my bellringers were in getting students in class, situated, and working, so I began using them this year in my fourth grade class. 
It has worked wonders!  As soon as the students come in, I hand them their bellringer at the door, and they begin working. I sometimes set a timer, so they know exactly how much time they have. There is a great, online version you can project on your smart board here.   We will often self assess the bellringer together, and sometimes I take it up.  If you are experiencing lost time due to transitions, I highly recommend this technique!

Students Love These Fake Text Messages

Instead of repeating directions over and over, I like to display my message on the smart board, so each student can read it on their own.  I recently discovered a really cool tool to use to motivate students to read directions when coming in to class.  I can create fake text messages to send to students.  This simple technique has motivated even my reluctant readers to read the daily message on the board, so they can get started on their bellringers/morning work for the day!  You can create your very own fake text message using the website here.  
I hope these tips help you save some time in class.  For more helpful tips like this delivered right to your inbox, please subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of the page. What are some things you do to use your time wisely in your classroom?
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Stephanie Nash

I have been helping teachers organize, develop routines, and create inviting & beautiful classrooms since 2012!

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