Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Food for Thought: Bell Ringers

I do like using bell ringers - you know, those little writing prompts or activities at the beginning of class that get kids thinking about what they'll be doing today (while you're taking attendance and juggling 4 million other things); but it took me a while to find a system for them that I really liked.

I started out with the students writing them on notebook paper. This was useless. Either you have to collect a million pieces of paper a day, or they lose them. Even if you say "Keep the same paper all week; put it in your folder" or whatever, it's doubtful that will help. Then of course the paper itself is torn, crumpled, spilled on, chewed on, whatever.

So when I moved to binders, I placed a little packet of bell ringer sheets in with everyone's syllabus, etc:

This worked so much better! Clean, hole-punched paper that stayed in the rings. Beautiful.

Downsides: It wound up taking a good bit of room up in the binders. I was confined to boring lines and three sentence responses. I had to keep track of how many should be recorded every time I graded. I had to keep a list of the prompts handy for weeks after they'd been used. 

Then I moved to folders, and decided I wanted a weekly sheet that they would keep in their folders. I would graded folders every week, and this sheet would be removed from their folders every week. And I didn't always want to be confined to boring lines and three sentence responses. So I came up with these:

Each week had a different little food icon at the top, different shapes throughout the page, and the variation allowed me a variety of prompts. I would give the students blank ones like the one above, add the prompts to the page and project one each day:

Love this system! I used them in every class, not just Foods (though I of course changed out the title of the class). It provides a lot of flexibility, and is fun to boot. Check out these happy guys:

I know, I know: you're now irresistibly drawn to these and are thinking "Man, I've gotta make some awesome bell ringer sheets like that." Awww shucks, thanks! But don't. I'll be putting over a semester's worth of these bad boys up along with a ton of other new stuff as part of a very special bargain by the end of the week. Stay tuned!


  1. I would love to use these bell ringer sheets, but I have not been able to find where you posted them.

    1. Hi there!
      They are available in two places. 1) They are part of a special fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am offering a bundle of over 100 resources (including 24 of these sheets) in exchange for a $25 donation – details are in this blog post: bit.ly/FACS4TNT. 2) They will be added to my TPT store later this afternoon – not nearly as good a price per unit, but if you’re only interested in them and nothing else the total is less.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Am I able to still purchase these because I am new to teaching culinary and looking for all kind of ideas so if they are please email me any thing you have or tell me where I can get it coachgarland@hotmail.com or myoung5@ebrschools.org

  3. I bought these before school started (I donated to the Leukemian & Lymphoma Society). My students really like the bell ringer sheets so far. Since I am on an A/B schedule they last me 2 weeks. They like to doodle on them in too :)

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thanks for the kind feedback, and for the donation! I'm glad they are working out for you.
      Good luck with the new school year!

  4. Is your FCS bell ringer still available for a donation?

    1. Hello! Yes, the donation bundle is still available! All of the details of what is included as well as directions for donating are in the post at bit.ly/FACS4TNT.
      Thank you for reading!