Engaging Bell Work Activities and Websites

Hi Everyone!

Happy almost November!  Do you believe it?!?! This year is flying by.  I am in the throws of my short story unit with both my 7th and 8th graders, and soon enough, we will be reading our first novel.

This year, I have implemented bell work for the first time.  I have seen bellringers on Teachers Pay Teachers, and I implemented bellringers with my 8th graders last year; however, I will admit it was slightly disorganized.  This year, I have stuck to a schedule with my 8th graders, which I will share in a bit.  First though, I want to tell you about the bell work I have created for my 7th graders and work that they ACTUALLY rave over!

In the last two weeks, I have heard the following comments: "Mrs. Crouch...I love doing the bell work.  It is so much fun!" and, "This is my favorite part of the day."  I know...you would not think a 7th grader would say this about "work", but somehow I have hooked them.  I created the bell work with the intentions of keeping my 7th graders busy for the first five minutes, but I thought, "What a great product for TpT!", so you can find my bell work in my store.  I have gotten some great feedback, and my sellers look and ask for it each month!

I don't know about you, but the first five minutes of class is CRAZY-attendance, collecting work, checking homework, and all of the other entrance items at the beginning of the period.  The students NEED a task during the first five minutes to get them situated, and if they don't have a task, a classroom becomes quickly chaotic. I used to have my students answer writing prompts, but eventually, the prompts became flat and anti-climatic, being it was same routine every day.  I eventually abandoned the writing prompts; it just was not working.  I was back to square one again.

Over the summer, I decided to created daily bell work sheets.  Each day has designated skills and activities for the students to work on for the first five minutes of class-

*Monday introduces and/or reviews a grammatical term; it asks the students to write a commonly misspelled word 5 times; introduces a vocabulary word, and asks the students to write a sentence with the vocabulary word included, and write a headline to a short passage.
*Tuesday requires the students to define the grammatical term from Monday, and give examples of the term; answer a question about figurative language; read/answer a riddle, and draw a conclusion on a short passage.  There is also a "Fact of the Day", as well as a small picture to color if students finish early.

*Wednesday asks the students to identify the grammatical device in sentences, and highlight them; a commonly misspelled is introduced again, as well as another vocabulary word; Last, the students have to write a main idea sentence for a short passage.

*Thursday the students are asked to create their own sentences using the grammatical device; identifying or define a figurative or literary device; edit a short passage, and if there is time, students can read the "fact of the day", the riddle, and/or color if they have extra time.

*Friday the students are asked to draw pictures of the grammatical term in action, practice commonly misspelled words, using a new vocabulary word in context, and complete a fun and engaging journal activity.
Here are some visuals of my bell work, and I would love to offer the readers of this blog post a FREE week of my November Bell Work!

Click here to receive the free week: FREE BELL WORK

I have had so much success with this format, as each week works on scaffolding a grammatical skill and asks the students to practice language arts skills.

Here are some great websites and resources for you to create your own bell work:

1.  Need Grammar? Check out English Grammar 101

2.  Short Passages for Middle School Students-DogOn News

4.  Great riddles and jokes for kids-Brain Teasers for Kids

5.  What If's-You may have to filter through these to find appropriate questions for your classroom.

7.  More Riddles-203 to be Exact!

I hope this helps you get started in your bell work journey!  If you like my FREEBIE, check out the full product right here:

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Talk soon,

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