Here's what Dawn, an Algebra teacher says about using warm-ups: "When I teach completely different preps back to back, I survive on the daily warm-up routine. Students automatically start working, and I pause and get my plan for the period straight. Warm-ups 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 warm-ups, check out Mrs. E's blog post: "Bellwork Keeps Me Sane."
Once you decide to incorporate a warm-up or bell-ringer 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 well-rounded, but consistent warm-up routine.
1. Number of the Day / Function of the Day
I love this new warm-up 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 x-2y=4. Students gave me the linear form, the x & y intercepts, the slope, the equivalent equation in slope-intercept 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 warm-up 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 Warm-Ups
5. Test Prep
6. Review of Prior Knowledge
7. Introduction to New Content
8. Joke / Riddle
Julie from Secondary Math Solutions shared her newest warm-up 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."
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