How to use Bellringers

bellringers teaching Oct 18, 2021

Once upon a time, when I was a new teacher, I hated bellringers! I didn't see any purpose for them except for Admin to check off a box during observations. While I'm still not a huge fan of them, after teaching for more than a decade, I can see their value. However, I didn't like that every day I was spending what little time I had creating new ones to match yesterday's topic. Every day, every year, all those minutes stacked up, and I decided to do something different. I created bellringers that can be used repeatedly over the years, changing a bit to update them now and then, but basically the same. I used them to introduce my kids to Spanish culture in whatever ways I could through Science Facts, Music, Art, Dancing, Literature, whatever I thought would interest them. Below you can see how I use each day of my bellringers!

The bellringers I use for the first 2 weeks are free if you want to check it out!

How to use them

Start class with the BELLRINGER. It’s not necessary for their acquisition of Spanish but it helps keep the class from being disorderly and administration likes to see them. The bellringers do not specifically relate to the learning target of the previous day because, as we all know, class is fluid, and I found that I was having to remake them every year to match my new timing. These bellringers can be used every year without having to adjust them.

  1. Monday bellringers will take the most amount of time.
    • Choose one of your students to be Special Person but keep it a secret
    • Have the Song of the Week slide pulled up and hand out the Lyrics Sheet. Go over the lyrics and the information about the band. If you are using the Bellringer Handout you can have them answer the questions on it. (I use this every other week.) Point out cognates and ask each student to come up with at least one question (practice with interrogatives).
    • Introduce the Special Person to the class. I like to describe them and see if the class can guess who it is.
    • Play the song.

    • After the song, pull up the Conversation Starters slide and specifically talk to the Special Person for a few minutes.  After speaking to the Special Person, call on people using or have them Turn and Talk to greet their neighbor. Tell them to choose more than one emotion (we are human and complicated)! It’s ok to have them using structures you haven’t gone over yet.

    • Listos Lunes Slide: The last thing I do on Monday is read through a paragraph. Some years I have them write down these facts and some years I don’t. It depends on how much help the class needs to stay focused. 

  2. Tuesday (Viaje Martes): Each Tuesday slide has an interesting fact about one of the Spanish speaking countries and, often, a video that goes with it so they can visually see it.

  3. Wednesday (Audio Miercoles): I use these in a few different ways. Sometimes I assign the video as an edpuzzle for homework, or we go through it using Edpuzzle.Live. Sometimes, I’ll play it in class and ask questions about it while I pause. If you have enjoy MovieTalk, you can turn any of them into a movietalk.

  4. Thursday (varies): Every 4 weeks, I would change what we do with the bellringers. Usually it’s something very quick like a joke or a riddle.

  5. Friday (Disfruta Viernes): There are several things you can do here depending on your school culture. When I taught middle school they LOVED to dance but my high schoolers… not so much. On Friday’s, we will go through the speaking prompt (using classdojo to call on people), play the dance song, and play the next episode of whatever show we are on. I also play a game created by Tina Hargaden called The Word Chunk game. This is a GREAT game to play in class that includes everyone, even the kids who don’t fit in a group. You can see my class playing the game here:

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