This Ecology unit comes with at least 20 days’ worth of materials that relate directly to your ecology unit. They can be used at the start of a class in the form of a bell ringer/class warm-up or at the end of class as an exit ticket.
Would you like to see me walk through my Bell Ringer activity? I created a video that overviews how they work and how you can use them effectively in your classroom in only 5 minutes per day. Click here to have a look.
Note that this resource is free when you purchase my Ecology Complete Unit
These are meant to be used each day, however, the question periods are directly associated with topic lessons, so they are done on days that follow the completion of a lesson. For example, after you finish your lesson on Ecosystems, you’d give your students the questions associated with the ecosystems lesson. Additional days will utilize the Quotes and Videos sections.
There are two key reasons why this daily activity works:
1) It encourages your students to review their notes on a nightly basis so they’re ready for class.
2) It creates a routine in your classroom that encourages your student to arrive and get settled for class quickly and quietly. Once we’re done, the students are ready for class and have already gotten their brains working and thinking science.
This resource covers the following topics
- Fill in the blanks
- Short answer
- Mix of above
● Everything will be included in your PowerPoint
● All questions relate directly to the previous lesson and work to test your students’ understanding
● If students are absent, they know they need to get caught up while away
● This process encourages students to keep up with the material and review their notes nightly
The quotes come from individuals and relate directly to the overarching topic. On these days, I have students read the quote and write down what they feel it means and/or the underlying message.
The videos are an excellent way to settle your class down quickly and easily. Each video is selected specifically because it’s interesting and relevant to students.
Each video can be accessed directly from the slide. Simply click the video image while in slideshow mode and the video will automatically open in your browser.
● Each week, I hand out the week’s [Topic Name] - Student Worksheet
○ **You can make this activity completely digital by making the sheet available online and have them submit it there as well**
● As soon as the bell rings to start class, I hand the sheets out to my students. Once the sheets are out, I start the 4-minute timer. If students are late, they miss out on their time.
● Once the timer finishes, the students flip over their papers and pass them to the front.
Each day’s activities, unless otherwise stated, are to be done individually and without notes. However, depending on the ability level of your students, you may want to have them work in pairs and/or use their notes.
We all have enough marking already and the last thing we want to do is add to our pile. However, I've found that this process is so streamlined and efficient that I’m easily able to mark these while my students are working in class or copying down notes.
Typically, I mark only the Questions section. However, if I’m busy or don’t have time in class, I won’t and that’s OK. The point of this isn’t to make your job harder but to help your students stay on track and keep focused. Additionally, I’ll mark one of the other sections (Quote or Video) at least every other week.
Each day’s mark is out of 5 but since there aren’t always 5 questions (usually it’s somewhere between 1-3), I base my mark on their understanding of what I’ve asked them to complete. This can come across as subjective, but I’ve found it gives me an excellent indication of their knowledge and keeping it consistent makes things better for everyone.
Keep in mind that the outline above describes how I use them in my class. Feel free to change it up however you like (including the questions as the entire thing is completely editable). Other teachers I’ve spoken to only utilize the questions following a lesson or only mark the questions following a lesson and for the other days, show the relevant videos but don’t require their students to submit anything. A few people only mark one submission per week while others mark everything. It’s completely up to you.
Whether you use Questions, Quotes, or Videos in any given lesson, your goal is to create a routine, promote understanding, and get your students thinking about science as soon as they enter your class.
You might also be interested in my other Bell Ringer Activities
If you have any questions, please send me an email - email@example.com