Thursday, August 09, 2018

"It's So Easy, Yeah, So Doggone Easy" Thing #3 to Make Teaching Life Easier

I use bellwork at the beginning of my class to help get students focused and also to work on skills that students need.  The last few years I have been planning out the questions at least a week ahead.  7th and 8th grade have themes for each day (different, except for Friday), but for Wednesday, I review where we are at in content and have a question that directly relates to content.  I have a Google spreadsheet with a general plan for video links I use on Friday, links for listening comprehension clips that I use on Thursdays, I have a file of picture puzzles I use on Monday, graph sources, and etc.  I have typed up and modified appropriate level readings from "Data Nuggets" for students to read and then use that information to respond/populate graphing information.  So, most of the year is planned out.

On Fridays, I type up my questions and copy them into three columns in a Word Document (this can be done in a Google Doc, but is more complicated) and have these cut out for students to glue into their notebooks on Monday.  I also use Blogger to post the questions for each class.  Usually, the questions are the same for a section, but if one section is enough different than the other sections, I will adjust on the blog and students can see that.  I think it's been helpful to have a slightly different focus in bellwork and then getting into content.  If OpenSciEd works out like I am hoping, in the future, I may make adjustments to what I do for bellwork.  Right now, this works to have things mostly planned, while still being able to be responsive to student needs and overall pacing.

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