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msusong

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Reply with quote  #1 

1. Create and share an “opening assignment” (page 70) you plan to use next year in your classroom.

2. Reply to another book circle participant's response to Discussion Question #1 with feedback, encouragement, or any other thoughts you may have: http://atpe.websitetoolbox.com/post/discussion-question-1-7463114?pid=1287613526#post1287613526  

Have a great week!


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Maggie Susong
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Teetime9

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Reply with quote  #2 
I love "Bell Ringers". Since I teach students with special needs that learn at a much lower level than their grade level peers; therefore, I am always working on conventions of writing. I love to have 2-3 sentences with grammatical errors in them. Students are to copy and then use editorial marks to correct them which they had already been learning since the beginning of the year. I give them the number of mistakes within each sentence at the beginning of the year and by mid-year, they are telling me the number. It creates quite a class debate as they are trying to get the number correct and are revising and editing without really knowing it. 
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Sherry Ayres
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Reply with quote  #3 
Since I am a 4th grade writing teacher, I would probably start off the year with a journal prompt.  But not the normal, what did you do this summer? I would have them respond to a quote.  As I read about this I couldn't help but get excited.  Since I was at a new district this year, and the teachers used a quote with their spelling lists, I now have a better purpose for asking my students to memorize these quotes so that they can use them in their writings.  (That is what my co-worker told me, that the purpose was for using the quotes in their writing but my students never understood why and I didn't know how to incorporate it better.  Now, I do!)
The following the would be posted in my room:
Welcome Work
On the paper handed to you at the door, use one of the sentence starters to answer the quote.
"Always have a vivid imagination, for you never know when you might need it." J.K. Rowling
The reason I chose this quote is because I really need my students to know that they can write.
I would then provide them some of the sentence starters on page 75 to help them answer it.
"I agree with this quote because..." "I disagree with this quote because..." "I am not sure I understand but I think it means that..."

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Angela R Ritter
4th Grade Writing Teacher
jezermeno

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Reply with quote  #4 
As a 5th grade Science/US History teacher, I love the idea of using bellwork not only for rountine purposes, but as a way to have students recap or do a quick summary of an idea or concept introduced the day before.  

Bellwork:

Explain the difference between erosion and deposition.

Please use complete sentences. (Ex.  The key difference between erosion and deposition is...)

Side note:  My students have a hard time answering in complete sentences. I have found that if I model using the question to form the answer, they pick it up quickly and don't get stuck answering because they don't know how to form the sentence.  After using this method a few times, they can do this without me helping them and they feel more confident with the idea of answering in complete sentences.

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Jennifer Zermeno
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Reply with quote  #5 
It is important that students have a daily routine to follow. Starting the day with an activity should be part of the daily classroom routine. Not only does this help students academically it also helps support effective and efficient classroom management. 
In a high school remedial English classroom having students begin a warm up activity is vital because you want to provide many chances to improve their writing skills and techniques. This assignment should be placed on the board daily and students should know where to write these. I like using a composition notebook and they are typically stored on a bookshelf in a crate at the back of the room. Students are instructed to get them daily and to write until the timer goes off. Set the timer for seven minutes or less. 
A few examples of  some warm ups used for these students are below: 

Today write about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her? (You must use at least one Smiley Face Trick in your writing)

Stem: A teacher that had an impact on my life was ________________. He/She influenced my life in a (positive/negative) way by ____________________. My life is different today because of him/her ___________________________. 

Write about a time you had to show compassion towards someone else: (You must use a simile or a metaphor in your writing)  

Stem: I showed compassion towards someone else when ____________________. The experience was as ___________ like/ as ______________. If more people showed compassion towards others _________________________. 

These can be used to spiral information that they have been taught before back into the course. 

For my ESL students or other students that might be struggling I provide them with a sentence stem or a model that they can use to help them with their own writing entry. 


MJML220

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Reply with quote  #6 
An idea I've been thinking about using for the beginning of the year opening assignment is using words and pictures to describe themselves.  I want them to trace their hand and part of their arms on white paper.  Then, they will decorate it with words they feel describe them and also draw some pictures that would help others know what interests they might have.  They will put their name on it. Once they are finished, I will have them glue them to colored paper and I will laminate them.  Then, we will display them as borders around my bulletin and white boards so that they look like raised hands.  That way the kids can be a part of the classroom all the time, and, others can check out each student's characteristics!
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Melissa
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Reply with quote  #7 
After my classes do a "getting to know you activity" I love to do an "Easy as 1,2,3,4" assignment.  I teach secondary math, so this is good for all of my classes - I can differentiate the assignment as necessary for the upper levels - using different order of operations.  The students can work together on this assignment, so it keeps the class involved.  The assignment instructs the student to "create" the numbers 1 - 25 using each of  the numbers 1,2,3, & 4.  They can do anything they want to the numbers - for example 1 + 2+ 3+ 4 = 10; 1 * 2*3*4 = 24; and so on...  Eventually creating the numbers gets very tricky and you have to mix signs, parenthesis; etc. 
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Jennifer Goedken
22209

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Reply with quote  #8 
I teach pre-k, so my opening assignment looks very different from when I was an upper elementary school teacher. Back then, I used to have the students come in to a journal prompt on the board (I really like the above response about having them summarize a concept from the day before!). Next year, we plan to have the pre-k classes come in to free centers because for that age....playing is working. At the beginning of the past school year, we had them come in to a developmentally appropriate activity, such as tearing paper, cutting with scissors, molding letters with play-doh, etc. However, we learned that in order for us to maximize instruction time and stay on schedule....these kinds of activities are better incorporated into our learning rotations we do daily. Plus, my teacher's aide would have to repeat the same instructions over and over as each student sat down at his/her table. By having the students come into free centers each day, the students will have ample to time to work at their own pace to ready themselves for the school day. Especially at the beginning of the school year, it takes some of them a long time to unpack, put their lunch boxes away, put their folders away, move their attendance dicuts, etc. (mainly those who are completely new to a school program). By allowing students to come into free centers, the students establish a routine of knowing exactly what to do upon arrival activity wise, and it allows us, as teachers, to help whichever students may need a little extra assistance while also greeting both students and parents at the door.
ktymniak

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Reply with quote  #9 
I teach French and, of course, the goal in learning another language is to be able to communicate!

This next year I want to make most of my Bell Warmers oral activities.  I want them to work with partners to actually speak on topics we have been studying.  I am a little nervous about this as this is harder to monitor and verify completion, but in talking with my students, they are excited about this and want to try doing it.  It will review the vocabulary and grammar constructs we have been studying the previous days and develop both aural and oral proficiency! 

For closure, I want to revive my use of the class "password" - which is a useful, possibly idiomatic, sentence they must tell me as they exit the classroom.  The password is aligned with our current unit, it is on the board every day, they must copy it down and try to figure out the meaning (if it is idiomatic). We then go over the correct meaning at the beginning of class.  They say the password to exit the classroom.   These passwords also appear on the unit tests as extra credit.

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Karen Tymniak
   "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur."

   "One only sees well with the heart."
        Antoine de Saint-Exupery
ehowe

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Reply with quote  #10 
My opening assignment is for students to work (play is work for four year olds, as 22209 pointed out) in the math center or library center.  Our campus serves breakfast in the classroom each morning, so after greeting students at the door and the morning procedures of putting away backpacks, washing hands, eating breakfast (all of which occur at various rates depending on the student), the student-chosen math or reading activity keeps students engaged and allows me, and the IA, to spend an extra moment with students who need help adjusting to the classroom. 
mmlillie

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Reply with quote  #11 
In the grade level I'm going into this coming year (3rd) at our school, students typically have a standard opening activity in which they copy from the board the agenda for the day. They note each subject, a very brief description of what they'll be doing that day, and any assignments. This goes home each evening and is signed by parents (as a way of communicating to parents what's covered in class each day).

But I really like the idea of having something else more interesting for the kids to work on each morning after copying the agenda. I think I might have the following bell work assignments on a rotating basis during the week:
- math review problems
- copy a Bible verse from the board and illustrate it (we're a private school)
- a journal prompt (related to what we're doing in ELAR or social studies)
- silent reading from library books
msusong

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktymniak
I teach French and, of course, the goal in learning another language is to be able to communicate!

This next year I want to make most of my Bell Warmers oral activities.  I want them to work with partners to actually speak on topics we have been studying.  I am a little nervous about this as this is harder to monitor and verify completion, but in talking with my students, they are excited about this and want to try doing it.  It will review the vocabulary and grammar constructs we have been studying the previous days and develop both aural and oral proficiency! 

For closure, I want to revive my use of the class "password" - which is a useful, possibly idiomatic, sentence they must tell me as they exit the classroom.  The password is aligned with our current unit, it is on the board every day, they must copy it down and try to figure out the meaning (if it is idiomatic). We then go over the correct meaning at the beginning of class.  They say the password to exit the classroom.   These passwords also appear on the unit tests as extra credit.


Great ideas for the bell warmer and closing activities. I particularly like the "password" idea--an interesting way to end the day. 
Thanks!

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Maggie Susong
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mewisl

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Reply with quote  #13 
Originally Posted by ktymniak
"I teach French and, of course, the goal in learning another language is to be able to communicate!

This next year I want to make most of my Bell Warmers oral activities.  I want them to work with partners to actually speak on topics we have been studying.  I am a little nervous about this as this is harder to monitor and verify completion, but in talking with my students, they are excited about this and want to try doing it.  It will review the vocabulary and grammar
constructs we have been studying the previous days and develop both aural and oral proficiency! "

Maybe to verify completion you could do individual conferences during the week and bring up some of the topics they were to discuss and have them retell their conversation.


I have been doing bellringers for years.  They have been usually review assignments or journal topics because I have been in 4th and 5th grade.  This year since I will be teaching 1st grade, I am thinking about doing an alteration between handwriting, sound sorts, math, and journals.  One type for each day of the week leaving Fridays or Mondays for the review activity day.
TXnature1

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Reply with quote  #14 
I teach 1st and since math addition/subtraction fluency and number sense are very important, I usually start with a math paper. It starts out pretty easy and increases in complexity as their skills develop. After students are finished they read a book from their book box or may play a seatwork math game that is kept in their bin. This lets me pop around the room and check their progress and strategies each student is using. I then let 2 students get together and check their papers. If they get a different answer on one of the problems - they need to discuss it and decide how they want to find the correct answer, maybe they need to use cubes, etc. to prove the answer for sure. This also lets me have some one-on-one time or pull together a small group who may need to review and practice a math strategy such as counting on or using manipulatives to think through a short cut. This all happens before the tardy bell and announcements and then for a little while after announcements. The students know it is time to clean up and gather together on the carpet when I push play and start a song.
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raclark

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Reply with quote  #15 
I teach high school physics, and we begin the year with a review of the metric system and other basics.  I will begin using a Daily Warm Up next year.  I also like the idea of using something more interesting or fun as part of the daily warm-up 

1.  Convert 112 centimeters to meters and express in scientific notation.

2.  Give the standard SI units for length, mass and time.

3. How many seconds are in an hour?

4. What is your favorite animal?


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