Thursday, November 11, 2010

B is for Bell Work

What do you do with the 4-10 minutes between the bell and the pledge? I have tried many different things over the years. I have put out worksheets, books, nothing... This year I am trying something new. When my kids come in they unpack and put their backpacks away and sit at their desk. One of the class jobs is bell work. That student puts out 3 tubs (one for each table) with 6 folders, dry erase markers, and erasers. In the duo tang folders are 10 page protectors with old worksheets (so 20 pages front and back). Every folder is different, so students have 18 different options throughout the year. I started saving the extra worksheets last year and I ripped apart old reading and math curriculum workbooks as well, so I didn't make extra copies for this project. This kids like using the dry erase markers (although they are drying out from missing tops... I might switch to wipe off crayons to save money- anyone tried those?) and they like having something new to work on each morning. I'd say they only spend 5 or 6 minutes with the bell work so the novelty hasn't worn off... yet. I like that I don't have to worry about making worksheets and I don't have to keep up with unfinished work for those who arrive late or unpack slowly. This method has saved me time in the morning and has made our morning routine go more smoothly than in years past.

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