Science Bell Ringers

Instructor: Derek Hughes

Derek has a Masters of Science degree in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum.

Bell ringers are useful for helping students get settled into class at the beginning of the period. This lesson will provide several different kinds of science bell ringers you can use to help your students get ready to learn.

Bell Ringers

Often, the beginning of a new class period is hectic, loud, and unproductive. Bell ringers are short activities that must be completed by students at the beginning of the class in order to help them get settled in, quiet, and ready to work. These activities can be adapted for any subject area.

Mrs. Yu's Classroom

Mrs. Yu teaches 6th grade science. Throughout her day, many different groups of students are entering her classroom for science class. This can be a very loud, crazy few minutes, due to the fact that students have spent a few minutes talking while moving through the halls. However, Mrs. Yu uses several different kinds of bell ringers to help her students get ready to work for the period.

Because she uses these bell ringers every day, Mrs. Yu's students know what to expect when they enter the class every day. Though she uses different bell ringers, students know what they should do depending on what they see when they enter the room. Additionally, Mrs. Yu aligns her bell ringers with whatever material the students are learning and standards that are aligned with her teaching.

Science Scrambles

One bell ringer Mrs. Yu uses is a word scramble activity. For this bell ringer, Mrs. Yu takes key vocabulary from the current topic the class is learning about and scrambles up the words. She posts these scrambled words on the interactive whiteboard or blackboard for the whole class to see. When students enter the room and see these, they know to grab a small piece of paper from a bin and write their guesses for the correct answers.

After students are finished unscrambling the words, they place their small pieces of paper with the correct answers into a box. Mrs. Yu uses this box as a reward system for students by picking out the papers and giving extra credit for correct and completed assignments. By providing this incentive, students are more likely to get right to work unscrambling the words.


For another bell ringer, Mrs. Yu has her students create and study flashcards for the current topic they are learning. These cards serve as study aids for students throughout the unit, and they add to them as they learn new information. Additionally, near the end of a unit, the students use the flashcards to quiz each other for the first few minutes of class.

When she plans to use flashcards as a bell ringer, Mrs. Yu will place several blank cards on each student's' desk. When they walk into the room, the students know that they are to create new flashcards. Mrs. Yu then collects the piles of cards and keeps them in the classroom for when she wants to use them again as a bell ringer.

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