05 Jul

It’s officially July and this is the month I’ve dedicated to working on grad school stuff and getting back into my classroom. The first thing I want to reassess is bellwork. I’m pretty sure everyone in my department gives students a Daily Math Skills assessment. Essentially 3-5 math problems that either assess success in the previous day’s lesson, scaffold for the next day’s lesson, or spiral review older topics. Sometimes I feel like this might waste class time because my students are not moving toward mastery because of it. Other times, I do feel like they are learning or catching up on something they’ve missed, and it is valid. I’ve been reading a lot of math blogs over the summer, and it appears that this is different from other people. Is it? What do you do with the first 10 minutes of class?


Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Assessment, education


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Bellwork

  1. David Duez

    July 5, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Most days, as a history teacher, I am giving the students something from the previous class that connects with the class objectives that day. It is usually a question or an “everybody writes – quickwrite.” Many times I will even include one of the questions from our homework.

    But, probably my favorite thing is the analysis of a poem or quick video.

    In math, I would guess that this is a perfect 5 to 10 minute period to get some review of working problems from the previous day done. Of course as I tell all new teachers, this is the time period when you need to take care of some administrative tasks, like attendance, missing work, getting to know your kids. My problem is that I am terrible at keeping the bell work (or warmup as I call them) short and to the point.

    I will probably try to incorporate pepper this year as a warmup with vocabulary.

  2. David

    July 5, 2010 at 9:48 am

    My “bell work” is often a task they need to complete to get the lesson moving along. It’s different w/ literature, but I still think a beginning assessment / review is necessary. Everyday? probably not. But having the structure work for classroom management and then having your assessment of the kids is essential.

    • jalzen

      July 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

      Look at you! New baby and back in the blogging swing already!

  3. Miss Teacha

    July 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I believe that bellwork is important to the structure of my class. I often use my bellwork time to do vocabulary or journal writes and reviews from the previous lesson. I do NOT review the previous lesson/assess everyday.

    In math, I appreciated when the teacher reviewed the previous concept, but I can see how it could be a waste of time. Consider the students who were absent. . . @my school attendance can be horrible, so a quick review really kind of catches them up on what they missed.

    I LOVE cold call and I’ll be using it next year to review bellwork or in the middle of a lesson to assess & review!!!


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