Geometry Bell Ringers

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a teacher, you know how important it is to start each class off on the right foot. This lesson offers bell ringer activities that will help students transition into geometry class.

Using Bell Ringers

The beginning of a class period can sometimes be a challenging time; students are transitioning between activities or subjects and often need help settling into their work. As a teacher, you might have clerical tasks that need your attention, like taking attendance, answering questions, and collecting homework.

To avoid some of the hectic feelings that can arise during transitional time and to get students on task as efficiently as possible, it can help to use bell ringer activities. Bell ringers provide students with short, independent, and relevant tasks that help them transition into class while you complete clerical tasks.

The bell ringers in this lesson are oriented toward helping students get started in a geometry class.

Visual Bell Ringers

Geometry is a very visually oriented discipline, and many students benefit from working with images and graphic organizers. This section offers geometry bell ringers that require students to use their visual strengths.

  • Project an image of a shape. Ask students to jot down as many different descriptors of the shape as they can, using geometric vocabulary.
  • Project different attributes of several shapes on a white board, such that the attributes offer clues to what the shapes are. Ask students to draw sketches of the shapes described using the attributes.
  • Show students an image of a complex shape, with dimensions filled in for as many sides as necessary. Have students work to find the area and perimeter of the shape.
  • Give students a list of angle measures for triangles. Ask them to use protractors to draw the triangles using the measurements you provided.
  • Organize students into groups and put a model of a 3-dimensional shape at each table. Have students sketch the model and consider how they would find its surface area and volume.
  • Project a Venn diagram on a white board, with one kind of shape or angle on one side and a different shape or angle on the other side. Have students complete the Venn diagram in their notebooks.
  • Project an image of parallel lines that are bisected by an intersecting line on a white board. Give the measures of some of the angles, and then have students copy the model and find the measures of the missing angles.
  • Ask students to create three different geometric images that are missing their angle measures. Then ask their classmates to figure out the missing measurements.
  • Have students sketch the outline of a floor space and write authentic story problems about it that would require someone else to use geometry to solve them. For instance, they might ask about the area of a living room or garden plot.

Written Bell Ringers

Sometimes, the best way to ease students into a class is to get them writing quietly. In this section, you will find bell ringers that ask students to write about geometry.

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