Bell Work: Ideas and Activities for Daily Formative Assessment

Have you considered digital bellwork, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re stuck in a bell work rut. TeacherMade has you covered. We will give you everything you need to get started with a Question of the Day (QOTD) for your students. Keep reading to make your bellwork routine digital, paperless, and self-grading.

Bell Work

What is Bell Work?

Bellwork is usually a short assignment done at the beginning of class. Usually, students complete bell work as they get settled before the bell rings. The idea of bell work is to allow your students to get focused, review material, and introduce something new.

Questions of the Day are usually another term for bellwork. Teachers often call bell work by many names: QOTD, bellringers, and starters. Questions of the Day can also be the essential question that a teacher aims to answer with their lesson. These essential questions can be tied into bellwork, formative assessment throughout the lesson, and the exit ticket. 

The TeacherMade app streamlines bellwork and other assignments so that students can complete them online.

What is the purpose of bellwork?

Bell Work serves many purposes for teachers, and it can set up your class for success. 

    • For students: Bellwork gets your students focused. Your students will walk into your room more focused and ready to work when they know they have something to do every day. Teachers use bellwork to review previous material or introduce new material depending on the questions assigned.
    • For teachers: Bellwork is a lifesaver for teachers. Not only will your classes start calmer and more on task, but you will be surprised how much you can accomplish in those precious minutes. You will now have time to take attendance, pass back work, and have a quick one-on-one chat with a student.
What is Bellwork

How do I save time on bell work?

Bell work can be time-consuming for teachers in three ways.

  • Prep: It’s an extra activity you must add to your lesson planning– every day. 
  • Class time: Bell work can detract from your main lesson, and it may feel like you need more time to accomplish your goals in a class period. 
  • Grading: If you want students to take bell work assignments seriously, you need to bring accountability with grading. Grading takes up time outside of the classroom. 

Connect the bell work to your overall goal for the day

There’s no reason that you can’t start achieving learning goals with your students as soon as the bell rings. Bell work is the perfect opportunity to conduct pre-assessment with your students. You can also use it to capture their interest in a topic, so they are more focused when the official lesson begins. 

Review prior knowledge to make lessons more successful

You can use bell work to work backward if you know what skills you want to assess at the end of a lesson. For students to master the skills of the day, they may need to review some prior knowledge. Bell work is perfect for this. 

Use what you have

Stop trying to create a new bell work activity each day. Try using resources that you already have by using PDFs, worksheets, and other practice activities. Use TeacherMade to take portions of longer activities and use these traditional materials as online digital activities. 

Think of bell work as part of the lesson

Planning bell work each day can be a timely addition to your day. Instead, think of bell work as the beginning or intro to your daily lesson. When you start viewing it as an extension of your learning targets, lesson planning becomes simplified.  

Auto-grade bell work

Stop grading your bell work assignments by hand. When you automate your bellwork grading, you gain time and a better understanding of student knowledge. With TeacherMade’s auto-grade feature, you can assign digital bell work and get instant results as your student complete the assignment. 

You can adjust your lesson to cover the learning areas that your students need most. 

Shrink the transition between bell work and your lesson

If you dread wasting class time because of how students transition between activities, TeacherMade’s slide view is the solution to this problem.

With TeacherMade’s Slide View, you can integrate online bellwork assignments into your lesson. You can transition directly into your lesson without toggling between apps, collecting papers, or doing any other time-suck activities inside your classroom. 

30 bell Work ideas

Download our 30 Bell Work Ideas PDF to get your students focused and ready for your class.

Bellringer Assignment

How to make an effective and good bellringer assignment?

Effective bellringer assignments should focus on the essential knowledge that teachers and students need to review. According to brain-based research, our brains only retain about 1% of new information. So it can be hard to get lessons to stick. Bellwork helps highlight important material for your student by focussing on a few essential questions. It also helps this information stick through repetition. You can evaluate how well your students learn your lessons by evaluating their responses.

Are you in need of math and science bellwork ideas? Bellwork should be quick for a teacher to execute every day. We outlined strategies to get started quickly with bellwork in your math and science classes.

Access to technology has become increasingly easy. Technology is integrated into schoolwork effortlessly. Teachers can now use apps and websites for elementary math bell work. Here’s how to get started with online elementary math bell work.

The right start to class is everything. Your students start with the right attitude, energy, and curiosity. But today’s English and Language Arts classroom can feel cramped with standards. How do you prioritize precious time for bell work? We’ll walk you through the steps of getting your bell work in your ELA class to work harder for you and your students.

Bell ringer for remove learning

Can you do bell ringer activities in remote learning?

Yes! Bell Work in your remote learning classes is essential:

    • Bellwork keeps things consistent for your students if you’re part of a hybrid learning situation.
    • Bell Ringers allow all students to get their technology ready just as they prepare traditional materials at the beginning of class.
    • Bell Work will enable teachers to get prepared to teach in a remote learning classroom.
    • Bellwork gives teachers essential learning data that teachers should frequently evaluate in the learning process.

TeacherMade is the perfect app to add to your arsenal for online bellwork. It is easy to create online bellwork assignments. You can start each class with a quick gauge of what your students know. TeacherMade self-grades assignments– instantly!

Standard Of Learning (SOL) assessments can be a stressful time for students. Educators want to encourage and uplift their students in any way they can. Creative and intentional bell work is an excellent opportunity to get students in the right mindset for successful SOL testing.

It’s a new school year, which means plenty of new faces in your classes. While connecting with each student individually might seem like a challenge at the onset of the semester, you know that you’ll be building rapport and making connections as the year goes on.

We’ll explore some bell work activities that will capture students’ attention, prepare their brains for active learning, and offer you some clear insight into their thoughts and feelings.

Middle school is a significant transition period for students. They start switching classes, having more autonomy, and testing boundaries. You must structure your middle school classes to account for these big shifts in behavior. You can follow certain tips to get started on the right foot each class period.

The key to this is establishing a dependable routine, and the best place to start is bell work. We’ll walk you through middle school bell work strategies so your class can start off on the right foot.

Are you struggling to get your students with IEPs settled into a bellwork routine? Bell work helps every student. But your students with IEPs especially need bell work. We’ll explain why your SPED students need bell work and how to implement accommodations into this crucial part of your classroom.

We’ll also explain how you can use TeacherMade to make online bellwork to free up time for you, help your students with accommodations, and simplify classroom procedures.

You’ve decided to take the leap in establishing bell work into your class routine. Great! Bell work is one of the most important ways to start your class period off on the right foot. But how will you get your students to take their bellwork seriously? Do you establish it as a graded assignment in your classroom? 

We’ll dive into whether or not you should grade bell work and also give you some bellwork shortcuts.

With TeacherMade it’s easy to convert your existing bellwork and questions of the day. If you’ve ever wondered how to convert your paper bellwork assignments into digital assignments, here’s how to do it in minutes:

    1. Upload your file. The file you upload becomes the background of your new bellwork assignment.
    2. Add a field for student responses.
    3. Add answers to questions for self-scoring.
    4. Send an assignment link to students (or sync with your school’s LMS platform).
    5. Get instant feedback.

Teachers love TeacherMade

“The benefit of TeacherMade to me has been to save time primarily. With years of teaching under my belt, I have written and collated many resources that can be difficult to access by students on digital platforms, often due to incompatibilities with different versions or that students do not have access to software that is expensive to purchase… For the first time, I have been able to instantly upload my resources with a drag from the saved folder to the TeacherMade app, and by using the creative tools, make the worksheet accessible to all with a device. The integration with Google Classroom has also saved time, with no longer a need to move assignments and results manually.”

Chris W., Teacher

“I use these as formative information beginning a lesson, usually tied to my objective. It allows for my students to get immediate feedback on their answers. It allows for my students to work at their pace. There is the upfront time involved in development but saves a lot of grading time and huge feedback plus to my students.”

– James S., Teacher