Here's what Dawn, an Algebra teacher says about using warmups: "When I teach completely different preps back to back, I survive on the daily warmup routine. Students automatically start working, and I pause and get my plan for the period straight. Warmups have changed faces over the years in my classroom. From a daily word problem to 5 quick prerequisite problems, all were highly beneficial, but all took preparation. At some point it’s hard to be awesome every single day and still have a life outside of school. I needed a routine that needed no prep."
If you are not convinced to try warmups, check out Mrs. E's blog post: "Bellwork Keeps Me Sane."
Once you decide to incorporate a warmup or bellringer into your daily routine, decide what format would be best for your class.
Here are 8 totally different ways that you can kick off your math period. Try a combination of a few of these ideas to get a wellrounded, but consistent warmup routine. 1. Number of the Day / Function of the Day
I love this new warmup idea from Algebra Simplified  "After reading an excerpt from a wonderful book on math teaching (that I cannot find to reference), I adopted the Function of the Day. No prep needed; just write a function on the board.
Students write 8 true facts about this function (I don’t even collect it; we discuss their responses). For example, the function today for my Algebra IB students was x2y=4. Students gave me the linear form, the x & y intercepts, the slope, the equivalent equation in slopeintercept form, equivalent equations using scalars, a perpendicular line, a parallel line, and a random point on the line in function notation. Two weeks ago they couldn’t even tell me the standard form of a linear equation. All of these concepts taught in a previous math class have been refreshed solely from this warmup routine and debriefing of student responses. Don’t tell them, but the functions are going to get progressively more complex."  Algebra Simplified 2. "Writing in Math" Question Prompts
3. Problem of the Day/Week
4. Video WarmUps
5. Test Prep
6. Review of Prior Knowledge
7. Introduction to New Content
8. Joke / Riddle
Julie from Secondary Math Solutions shared her newest warmup strategy: "I tried something different last year and just had a joke posted when they came in.
One of my favorites was "what do you call friends that like math"? Algebros!! And from there we would go straight into checking the homework." Become a Math Giraffe Subscriber:
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4 Comments
Eric O'Brien
8/14/2016 02:02:13 pm
I also worked with a Number of the Day often. Before working with functions, children see numbers written in similar ways lead to predictable functions. 19, 29, 39 are written as 201, 301, and 40 1, allowing students to predict that 49 will be 50  1. It also allows the teacher to substitutes the expression for the number. So 53 x 19 becomes 53 x (201). Students will find working with the distributive property so simple as they multiply 53x20 and 53x1 to compute 106053 to find a solution of 1007. Why struggle with the standard computation when the distributive property led us to the solution so easily?
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8/14/2016 08:20:43 pm
Love that approach, Eric!
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Suzanne
10/30/2016 12:31:48 pm
A million thanks for these suggestions. Every one of them a gem.
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11/1/2016 04:40:56 pm
Thanks, Suzanne! :)
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