Bell Work Ideas

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Bell Work Ideas

When I was teaching TLC and foods I created a handbook for the class.  Basically just a collection of all the worksheets we would do, with some questions and problems at the back that included space for them to write.  I kept their books in the classroom.  When they came to class there was a handbook assignment on the board.  They were to get their book and quickly begin as soon as they came to class.  I really liked this!  It got them going on something first thing, and then if I had a lot of instructions to give they were already quietly working on something and I didn't have to wait for their attention. 

Alison Roberts

I have a daily journal for my ARFL classes.  It's a quote they have to write a response to each day.

I have a stack of scratch paper squares sitting by the door when they come in the room.  They write their name and then I have written on the board or I use my LCD projector and I have a bell question written for them to answer.  I use questions that I will be talking about or have discussed that they can take from their notes.  I'm trying to use more questions that might appear on the skills test to help review throughout the semester.  My screen would look something like this:


Foods I       Date: 8-20-08

Bell- Name 5 different pieces of kitchen equipment or 16 tbps. = _____

Objectives--( I write the unit objectives)

To Do:  What we are going to do that day

Due:  assignments that are due and their dates.


I hope this helps.


I have bellringers in my CTE Intro almost every day and I put the kids names in the bellringer so they are wondering who will be on it that day - I make sure every student is used and try to make it very positive -this can be very time consuming the first time around but then I just switch out kids names each rotation.   - see attached example. this is one of my more silly ones I us as I introduce a book  called Pick Me Up ( a section about Albert Einstein) and as we talk about peoples talent and abilities.  They do this while I take roll, then I go through it with them and they can change their answer if they got it wrong - its a be there on time 5 points  worth about 15% of their grade and they can't make it up if they are late or absent. It starts us into the subject. works great for me! doc in word '07.

#_____ Bellringer A-___ Name____________________

Pick Me Up – book

Circle the one correct answer

1. Albert Einstein’s Brain was:

A. The same size as everyone else’s

B. Twice as long as the average human’s

C. 15% wider than the average human’s

2. What particular area was different? The

region responsible for:

A. the mathematical thought & ability to

think of cool places to go on the internet

B. the mathematical thought & ability to

think in terms of space and food

C. the mathematical thought & ability to

think in terms of space and movement

3. His brain was unusual that :

A. it was green instead of grey

B. his groove disappeared partway, (the groove that

separates the lobes running from front to back)

C. there was hair growing on his brain

4. How do we know this?

A. Mason Dudman (is really older than he looks)

personally knew Albert Einstein. Albert told

Mason this bazaar information one day as they

strolled through the park.

B. after Einstein died, curious scientists removed

his brain to check it out.

C. after he died, Sally LaFontaine & Bill Allen

were so curious they dug up his grave one night,

extracted his brain- which amazingly was still in

perfect form - had a coroner check it out.

Published their result under their pen name AllenLaFallen

My student teacher last year, Kailynn Cooper, would put a question up on the board that had to do with the lesson and kids would pickup a scrap piece of paper she had cut up before and they would answer the question while she took roll. Sometimes she gathered them for a grade. They liked the activity.


Ms. Pamela Rock

FACS (Home Ec.) Teacher
Lakeridge Jr. High
(801)227-8752  ext. 128

Regarding Bell Quizzes--these are more journal responses that can be used in place of bell quizzes.  Maybe someone can use them.

I've also attached a list of activities to help get to know students and miscellaneous ideas called "Time Fillers" that could be used as bell quizzes.

These are all things I gathered from my students over the years--no credit to me!

Julie Wheeler

Utah State University

Misc. Time Fillers

  1. Have students write what they learned in class then exchange it with someone else to see if they learned anything different.

  1. Play “MOST LIKELY TO” (be an actress, be a cook, etc.)

  1. Write words backwards and figure them out.

  1. Write “If I was a ______________________________- what would I be and why? (fabric, color, appliance, shape, etc.)

  1. Pass out flannel board story pictures and have them create their own story.

  1. Describe a picture to the class. See if they can create the correct picture.

  1. “I have done this, has anyone else?” If not they get a point. Most points win.

  1. “JUST A MINUTE”—A student will try to talk constantly about a subject for an entire minute without hesitation.

  1. Have students sew on a button. See who can do it first, or best.

  1. Have students think of something they did today in class and then discuss the “why” behind it.

  1. Make a list of top 10 concepts learned in class today.

  1. Play memory game of words/phrases used that day.

  1. Play hangman with words from today’s lesson.

  1. Focus on the five senses. Have students do a written summary by completing 5 open-ended statements. I saw…I heard…I smelled…I tasted…I felt

Writing Prompts

Describe walking down main street in your home town.

Describe a fun autumn day you’ve had.

Describe a fun summer day you’ve had.

What was your absolutely most embarrassing moment?

Have you met or worked with any famous people? Where, when etc…

Between the ages of five and ten, what was your favorite activity?

Did it snow where you lived as a young child? What kind of things did you do in the snow?

What do/did your grandfathers do for a living? Did your grandmothers work?

What are your fears, expectations and anticipations about getting married?

Describe the “downtown” of your childhood at Christmas time.

What special things do you do with your mother?

What is a favorite place to go with your family?

If you could spend a day with any person in today’s world, whom would it be? What would you do?

Tell about any conditions surrounding your birth that you are aware of. Tell any interesting stories about your beginnings (how your name was chosen, any close calls, etc…)

How old were your parents when they were married? How old were your grandparents when they married?

Tell about any ancestors you know about; dates, names etc… for historical purposes, and any stories about them.

Do you plan on going to college or taking any vocational training? What and where?

Where do your grandparents live? What is their home like? Does it have a certain smell, look or feel?

Where do you fit in your family; oldest, youngest in the middle? Do you like it? Does it have any advantages or disadvantages?

Describe a sound from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?

Has there been an event; world, local or personal, that has changed your life? Explain.

What is the most challenging experience that has ever happened to you?

What makes you feel good? (occasion, food, people etc…)

What is the most adventuresome thing you have ever done?

Tell about your favorite uncle or aunt.

Tell about your teenage social life. Your fiends, dances, movies, dating, outings, etc…

Describe your first paying job. What was your salary? Your duties: What was your boss like?

What games did you play in your house or neighborhood growing up?

Tell about the house or houses lived in during your childhood. Do you remember the addresses or phone numbers?

What things do you enjoy doing today that you also enjoyed as a young child? Describe then and now, differences, similarities, etc…

How did your parents become engaged?

What lessons did you learn, as a child, that have carried over into your young adult life? What lessons haven’t carried over? (Piano, violin, dance, guitar, etc.)

What do you want to remember about yourself as a teenager? What is important to you? What are your dreams and goals?

Describe a fun winter day you’ve had.

Tell a story about each of your brothers and sisters.

Tell about an interesting or important visitor that has come to your home.

Tell about a favorite vacation from your childhood.

Tell about a favorite vacation.

Describe a childhood birthday.

Describe your dream home.

How would you like people to remember you?

Tell about your own family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduation, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, hunting, funerals, Memorial Day, Mothers/Fathers Day, weddings, etc…

Did you have any fears as a child? What?

Describe your mothers wedding dress. What do you know about her wedding?

Do you ever go camping? Tell about an experience.

Describe your favorite/most special birthday. Who was there? What did you do? Etc…

Tell about changes you’ve seen in your lifetime: society in general, technology, fashion fads, politics, etc…

What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate it?

Tell about your school experience: schools attended, special teachers, friends, classes, activities, humorous situations, achievements, etc…

Tell about handed-down talents, foods, dolls, pottery, quilts etc…

Do you have a favorite author? Why/why not? Who?

Tell about a favorite book as a child and teenager.

What kind of sports do you play, watch or like?

Write about some places you have been with your father.

Write about some places you have been with your mother.

What was a favorite place to go with your family when you were young?

Tell the words of a song from your childhood. What memories do you have about it?

Tell about how, when, and where you learned to drive. Any memorable experiences?

Describe a fun spring day you’ve had.

What special things did you do with your father?

Tell where you went to school. List teachers, subjects, friends etc…

Do you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents? Tell about it.

Describe a favorite childhood friend and some things you did with him or her.

What was the color of your house, your bedroom, your living room as a child? What is it now?

Where did you live as a child? (City, country, subdivision, farm etc.)

Describe a trip downtown as a young child.

List each of your uncles and aunts and tell something about each of them.

What is your favorite color, flower, food, activity, and hobby?

Tell a courtship story about your parents, how they met, etc…

Describe a childhood Christmas.

What is the one invention you could not live without and why?

What makes each of your brothers and sisters special? Be specific.

Do you like to go to the theater? The opera? The symphony? Which do you like best? What production did you like best and why?

Tell about an outstanding family trip or summer holiday you have experienced.

Are you responsible for any household chores? What are they? Which do you most enjoy? Least enjoy?

Did you ever hear about your grandparent’s courtship? How long did they go together and how old were they when they were married? Did/do they have “pet” names for each other? What were/are they and why?

What are your mother’s best traits? Her worst? The ones you have in common?

Where did your parents live when they were first married? Tell about other places as well.

What did you do as a child that got you into the most trouble with your parents? How did they handle it?

Tell about all the places you have worked.

Do you and your mother/father share any interests? Tell about your relationship.

Did you have a bike? What was it like?

What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you? The worst?

Do you and your father share any interests? What are they?

Are there any family heirlooms in your possession? Tell about them and how you came to acquire them.

What special things do you do with your grandparents?

Tell about favorite games you played as a child.

Did/do any of your family members serve in the military? If so, where and when? What have they told you about the experience?

What personality trait do you admire most and why?

Tell about any pets you had as a child and now.

What are your food preferences? How did they come about?

Describe your favorite dress or outfit as a young child, as a youth, etc…

Describe your yard as a child. Did you help with yard work? What are your memories? Draw a diagram if you can?


  1. Speed Ball – Pass a ball around the class as fast as the students can while calling the first name of the students out. Give them three attempts at the same order and keep the fastest time (divide by the number of students so you end up with an average number of seconds per student). After getting the fastest time it is fun to add two or three balls to the rotation and see how fast they can go.

  1. Dice Game – Divide the students into teams of four and give each team a pair of dice. Have them roll the dice and rotate clockwise until someone rolls doubles (or whatever combination you choose). Then have the student grab a pen and begin writing the names of all of the team members over and over again until the next member in the rotation gets doubles and then they take the pen away and begin writing the names of each team member. Rotation continues for about two minutes and then the top two scorers travel to another team of four and play continues until the students learn all of each other’s names.

  1. Trivial Pursuit – Have the students number 1-30 and begin by asking a question about the first student that the others must guess at. The students get points for the correct first name of the student and whether or not the trivial response was correct. Some of the questions asked may include: How much can this student bench press? What is his/her middle initial? What size shoe do they wear? How many times have they been pulled over by an officer? What radio station do they listen to? Name one animal they have owned as a pet. What is their calling in the church? What is their favorite cereal? What was the age of their first kiss? Obviously, one must be careful with certain questions, but overall the students enjoy guessing and getting to know each other and they are rewarded in the end for guessing correctly the most number of times.

  1. Personality Test –I often conduct a personality test the first week of school. It consists of asking the students five questions: What is your favorite color and why? What is your favorite pet animal and why? And what one item would you take into a large, empty white room if you knew you were going to be in there an extended period of time? The application to the first two questions deal with what one likes about other people and what one likes about oneself. According to psychologists the item one would take into the white room is symbolic of what one is currently craving or yearning for. I always make them announce publicly what they wanted in the white room because the answers are generally humorous and it helps to “break the ice” during the first few days of class.

  1. Name Cards – Have the students fill out a name card on their desk including drawings of things that represent themselves (including hobbies, talents, likes/dislikes, etc.). Have them present the cards to the class and then reposition the cards at different areas throughout the classroom each time a new class starts so the students get to know each other.

  1. Physical Tests – There are a number of physical challenges that you can give your students to see if they can work as a group. Three popular examples include the boardwalk, the cheerleader triangle, and the pretzel twist. First, the board walk consists of five to ten people standing on two parallel 2’ x 4’s and working as a team to walk forward by simultaneously lifting ropes that are anchored to the bottom of the boards. It takes great coordination and coordinating to do the walking together. Second, the cheerleader triangle involves directing the students to collectively stand in a 2’ square section without having a single member leave the designated section for a period of three seconds. The last example involves the huddling of students into a tight circle and reaching across the circle to grab the hand of a fellow class member. The object is to then untangle the pretzel without unlocking hands.

  1. True of False – Have each student write down three things that are true about themselves and three things that are completely made up. At the beginning of each class read one of the cards and challenge the rest of the class to guess all six responses correctly (whether true or false). Every student that gets all six responses correct are then rewarded something. If, however, the student being spotlighted can stump all of the class members on at least one question then they are to be rewarded.

  1. Autograph Mania – Have a single sheet of paper divided into a number of boxes. Each box should contain a verity such as “loves Captain Crunch cereal” or “has five or more siblings”, “has ear pierced more than once”, “Speaks another language”, etc. The students must mill around the room getting autographs from fellow classmates for all the truths that they can find.

  1. Roll Call – The calling of roll on the first day of class can be difficult as some names are hard to pronounce and other students go by their middle names. I never call roll the first day, but instead, meet them at the front door and check them off privately (this way I am guaranteed not to have anyone slip by me the first day). On the second day I call roll but request that the students respond in the foreign language of their choice (they can essentially say anything they want in that language as long as it is clean).

  1. M&Ms – Pass around a large bowl of M&Ms and ask that the students to take their favorite color (it also works using Jolly Ranchers or Starbursts, or any other candy that contains multiple colors). Then on the board have the colors listed with requested items of information about the students after each color. For example, red = embarrassing moment; green = practical joke; blue = most daring achievement; etc. Spend some time having the students share their color and the corresponding information.

  1. TANGOES – Tangoes is a puzzle game that involves arranging shapes into established pictures. The object is to use all seven pieces without overlapping or manipulating the individual designs in the quickest period of time. Putting students in groups of four or less seems to be best for this activity and can lead to any number of discussions during the first few days of class.

  1. CINDERELLA – Have all of the young women remove a shoe off as they enter the classroom. As the class formally begins invite all of the young men to the front of the classroom where they are to take a young woman’s shoe. They are to partner up for the day with the owner of the shoe. Variations of paring up include having the students line up from oldest to the youngest, according to height, or according to shoe size, etc.

  1. I Love This Class – Have the students sit wherever they want the first day, but arrange the desks so that there are no empty desks. The object of the game is to begin as the teacher telling the students 3-5 truths about yourself and at some undetermined point shout out “I Love This Class!” The students then simultaneously jump out of their desks and find a new one. The object is to have them travel at least one row away and in the process of finding an empty chair, you as the teacher take one of the desks from the students forcing them to stand in the front. The standing student then introduces himself or herself and the game continues for five or six more rounds. This works well the first day of class because it gets their adrenaline moving.

  1. JENGA – Play the game Jenga and have the students put a Jenga piece in place after they share one thing they enjoy doing or are good at. The class with the tallest tower wins.

  1. License Plates – Show the students some examples of clever license plates (H20UUP2, XTREME, SEEULTR) and then ask them to do a license plate that represents them (things they enjoy doing, etc.) and then reward the student with the most creative one.

  1. Personality Profile – Have the students fill out a profile containing questions such as “If you could go out to lunch with any famous personal who would it be?” “If you had a million dollars to spend in 24 hours what would you buy?” “What is the most exotic place you have ever traveled to?” etc. and spotlight the students on a daily basis.

  1. Bulletin Board – During the first week of school invite students to create a montage of things that represent themselves. Display the pictures on a wall according to their class or period during the first few weeks so the students get to know one another.

  1. Word Search – Create a word search or a crossword puzzle containing facts about students in the classroom. Puzzles can be created at

  1. QUIZ! – The first days of class have the student’s take a piece of paper out and prepare for a quiz. Ask the students questions about you as a teacher or your family. Sample questions include: How many times have I moved? What high school sport did I play? What kind of car do I drive, etc. This method helps the students become more comfortable with you as a teacher and helps them appreciate similarities you may have.

  1. Alphabetical Roll – After introducing yourself, create some chaos. Tell students they have three minutes to complete their first assignment: “Sort yourselves in alphabetical order by last name.” After the initial shock and after thy succeed, remind them how capable they are to handle their first day, and every day, by asking questions, getting help from others, working together, trying and evaluating strategies to “just do it”!

  1. Animal Madness – Have the students select an animal that represents their personality and be prepared to explain why. Begin by going around the room in a like manner, “My name is Scott. I am like a dolphin because I love water.” Continue around the room until all of the students have introduced themselves. Then have students repeat the names of the students with the corresponding names of the animal that represents them. Reward the students who can remember the most correct answers.

I use a weekly bell ringer sheet with a thought provoking or review question
each day.  Exception days are in foods for lab days.  They fill out their lab
sheets instead.  I get questions from my textbooks often.  They have quizes and
some have bell ringer questions in the teacher edition.  The first thing we
discuss is the question and they share their answers.  I collect the sheet on
friday and they get 5 points for each day they answer.  this helps with
attendance as they can not make up days they are not here.  I've attached my
bell ringer form.  Good luck.

Bell Ringers (sample size – can fill whole sheet)

Class: Name: Points earned:









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