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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Biology Warm Ups and Bell Ringers: Great Classroom Management Tool

Warm ups and bell ringers are definitely a "vintage" idea, but this tried and true classroom management tool is still effective for most classes.


Classroom management is one of my strengths.  I am organized and have every single minute of class time planned before my students arrive at the door.  I consider classroom management to be one of the most important aspects of teaching, second only to having a deep knowledge of your subject area.  I teach "bell to bell" and gear the pacing of my class to the learning abilities of my students.  Frankly, I am good at it ....... Or so I thought.

This past year I had a class that was a bit more challenging than the average high school biology class.  The class consisted of 25 freshmen and sophomores, all nice kids, not a bad apple in the bunch.  They were rarely disrespectful, but always came into the room overly antsy and excitable.  It took longer than normal to get them settled in so class could begin.  All teachers know that the first few minutes of a class period can be somewhat chaotic.  Students are socializing with one another, students who have been absent are asking for missed assignments, attendance must be taken, graded papers must be returned, homework assignments must be collected.  The list goes on and on.


I had not used "bell ringers" for quite some time, but I thought this might be a good tool for getting this class under control.  Further, I wondered if I could get this group of high schoolers to keep and maintain a notebook of these warm ups.

The answer is a resounding...
YES!  IT WORKED!


What are the benefits?
You can turn this chaotic time of your class into a time of meaningful learning.  It establishes a daily routine of having your students complete thought provoking and problem solving tasks during the first 5 minutes of the class.  Once the routine is established, students will enter the room and get right to work on the warm-up or bell-ringer activity.  These warm-ups are designed to take 5-7 minutes to complete.   It settles the students and provides the instructor a few minutes to carry out the tasks required at the beginning of a class.

I am now spending some of my summer getting these warm ups/bell ringers ready for my TpT store.  Since most biology or life science textbooks are generally divided into ten units, I have organized the activities in this fashion:
  • Unit 1:  Introduction to Science (Scientific Method, Graphing, Chemistry, Biochemistry)
  • Unit 2:  Cells
  • Unit 3:  Ecology
  • Unit 4:  Genetics
  • Unit 5:  Evolution
  • Unit 6:  Microorganisms and Fungi
  • Unit 7:  Plants
  • Unit 8:  Invertebrates
  • Unit 9:  Chordates
  • Unit 10:  The Human Body


The first unit is uploaded into my TpT store and the others will soon follow.

The pages are printed landscape style.  The pages look best if printed in color, but also look great if printed in black/white.  Each activity is one-half page in size.  Two identical warm-ups are printed per page in order to conserve paper.  In this time saving classroom management strategy, all you have to do is print the pages and cut them in half.




    The warm-ups/bell ringers require and measure a wide variety of skills: 
Compare and contrast
Identify and label
Define terms
Graphing and Tabling
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
 Computation
Short Answer
Listing
Research
Cause and Effect
 Drawing
Analyzing
Interpreting
Predicting
Fill in the Blank
Writing/Explaining


These half-page activities can be collected and quickly graded, or you might want to have your students keep a daily warm-up notebook.  These warm-ups will make excellent additions to your interactive notebooks.  An added benefit…… The completed warm-up notebook makes an excellent review for the semester exam!

Included in this product:
  • 34 warm-up or bell-ringer activities (34 pages)
  • Complete answer keys (31 Teacher Answer Pages)
  • 5-page Teacher Guide
  • Editable Template pages for starting a warm-up interactive notebook (title page, table of contents)
  • Editable Template for creating your own warm-ups.

Unit 1:  Introduction to Science (Scientific Method, Graphic, Chemistry, Biochemistry) Includes 34 pages/activities:
·    Title Page
·    “All About Me” Page
·    Table of Contents Template
·    What’s in my textbook?
·    Thinking Scientifically
·    Scientific Method
·    The Controlled Experiment
·    Experimental Design
·    Interpreting the Data
·    Graphing the Data
·    Reading a Graph
·    Early Ideas About Life
·    Redi’s Experiment
·    The Study of Life
·    Levels of Organization
·    Introduction to Metrics
·    Metric Prefixes
·    Metric Review
·    Metric Conversions
·    Scientific Notation
·    The Microscope Part 1
·    The Microscope Part 2
·    The Nature of Matter
·    Properties of Water
·    Solutions and pH
·    Carbon Compounds
·    Carbohydrates
·    Lipids
·    Proteins
·    Nucleic Acids
·    Name That Molecule!
·    Chemical Reactions of the Cell
·    Enzymes and Catalysts
·    How do Enzymes Work?


I hope these work as well for you as they did for me.

Have fun teaching!

Click here or on picture to view product.


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