5 Reasons Why Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers Were a Failure in My Classroom (2023)

I have a confession to make.

During my years in the science classroom, I was never able to sustain a long-term warm-up or bell-ringer routine with my students.

I was always so jealous of the math teachers across the hall who seemed to get their students working on a warm-up even before the tardy bell would ring.

I’ve had some time to reflect back on why that process never worked and have been able to nail it down to 5 specific reasons.

1. I Didn’t Value The Warm-Up Process

When the bell rang, I was ready to get after the lesson. Anything that got in my way (including taking attendance…I was terrible at that too) got pushed aside.

When I look back to my warm-up process, I realize it was a huge disservice to my students. Most middle schools have about 5 minutes between classes, and students need to ease back into the learning process after a chaotic passing period.

Warm-ups are a great way for students get their head wrapped around learning for another 45 minutes or so. They are particularly great if all students can participate in the activity. You’re letting students off the hook if they don’t know how to respond to the warm-up question. It needs to be accessible to all.

2. I Seemed to Always Be Scrambling for Content

Another issue I had with warm-ups is that I was spending too much time planning the warm-ups and they were only going to take up a small fraction of my class period. What ended up happening during lesson planning is that we focused on the meat of the activity and the warm-ups always got forgotten. The effect was that I was scrambling each day to find something for the students to do when they came into class. It became a point of stress for me and what ended up happening is that I just ditched them all together.

(Video) High School Classroom Bell-Ringers, Lesson Ideas for Teachers, Start Strong Each Class Period

I would have benefited greatly from having a resource to pull from which would save time and make that 5 minutes of my class EASY.

3. Content Wasn’t Meaningful to Students

One year I had the brilliant idea to use released test questions as a warm-up. In theory, this isn’t such a bad idea, but the reality is that students never took it seriously, especially if all they had to do was write down A, B, C, or D.

Again, what value is that kind of warm-up to a student who can’t answer the question?

Are these the kind of inquiries that get kids interested in science? I think not.

4. Students Didn’t Have a Procedure

Just like everything else in your classroom, if you don’t have consistent procedures and processes it’s likely not going to end well.

When I did warm-ups in my classroom, I was never consistent about them. One day we would do them, and then the next day we wouldn’t. Of course what happened was that students didn’t’ get into a groove with the process and it turned into something they felt was unnecessary when I asked them to do it. The reality is they were probably right!

What were those math teachers doing across the hall? They were setting the expectation of what the students should be doing when they walk into class every day.

(Video) Bell Ringer Journal

5. I Didn’t Have a Procedure

My plan was to have the students do their warm-ups in their journals each week and then at the end of the week; I would give them a daily completion grade.

This presented two problems for me. First, it was easy for students to quickly scribble down a few answers on Friday and call it a week. That’s a total waste of 25 minutes of class time throughout the week.

The second issue was that I had to grade 130 INB’s every week. I realize grading is part of my job but is this the best use of my time every Friday afternoon? Probably not.

Looking back, I wish I would have installed a better grading process. It would have allowed me to quickly look at students work and immediately know that they took the warm-ups seriously.

I may be in the minority, but I enjoy sharing my failures in the classroom. One of the most enjoyable parts of teaching was reflecting back on what worked and what didn’t. I love coming up with solutions to the problems.

The best part for you is that I have a warm-up and bell-ringer solution for you!

5 Reasons Why Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers Were a Failure in My Classroom (2)
(Video) Growth Mindset Daily Warm-Up Bell Ringer Journal

Science Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers For the Entire Year

I’ve collaborated with my friend Bonnie over at Presto Plans and would like to share with you the answer to your warm-up woes.

The Science Bell-Ringers Full Year Resource was created for middle and high school science teachers and solves all of the problems I’ve described above.

The comprehensive year long resource (40 weeks!) includes everything you need to start each science class off with an engaging warm-up activity. One of the highlights of this resource is that by the second week of school your students will understand the process because each day of the week will seem familiar to them.


Start your week off by familiarizing your students with common science terms in a fun and engaging way. The Powerpoint presentation teaches students common science terms from different disciplines with an easy-to-understand definition as well as related short video clips! After they learn the term, have students record the meaning of the term (in their own words).


5 Reasons Why Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers Were a Failure in My Classroom (3)

Bring discussion and debate into your science classroom on Tuesdays with these task cards and presentation slides that are sure to get even your most reluctant students discussing controversial and interesting science topics. The resource includes everything you need to spark up friendly debate and get your students talking about science.


Get your students’ attention on Wednesdays with these engaging science video writing prompts! The slides include links to short (all less than 6 minutes) high-interest video clips that relate to a variety of scientific disciplines like physics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, paleontology, zoology, engineering, geology, ecology, computer science, psychology, astronomy, & more!

(Video) Growth Mindset Bell Ringers for Grades K-5

Students respond to a short writing prompt related to the video that allows them to summarize information, make personal connections, make links to popular topics, make predictions, and much more! Youtube is required for the video clips in this presentation


5 Reasons Why Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers Were a Failure in My Classroom (4)

Inspire your students with these 40 quotes from some of the most important and influential scientists in history. Each slide includes a quote, a picture of the scientist, a brief explanation of who they are/what they are known for, and the prompting questions. The prompting questions that allow students to respond to the meaning of the quote, consider how it relates to their world, and if it still holds significance today.


Bring some laughter into your science classroom once a week with these 40 hilarious science inspired jokes that your students will love. The jokes cover a wide range of science topics (chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth science, biology etc.). Have students attempt to guess the punchline when they arrive in class and consider giving a small prize/treat to those who get it right!

5 Reasons Why Warm-Ups and Bell-Ringers Were a Failure in My Classroom (5)

A student response sheet is included, but you could also have students respond in their interactive notebook. If you’re going to be grading the warm-ups for completion (and you should), then I would quickly walk around on Friday with a class list and weight each question 20 points a piece. You’ll be able to tell within a couple of seconds what grade each student deserves.

You can read it right at the top of my website. My goal will always be to create “Engaging Lessons for Busy Teachers” and I think we knocked this one out of the park! Enjoy!

(Video) 10 Worst School Punishments Ever

Check out the full year warm-up bundle in my TpT store.


Are bell ringers effective? ›

Overall, bellringers are a great way to prepare both teachers and students for the class period. Switching from class to class with only a few minutes for a break can be stressful for all, so bellringers are a great solution to help complete class-to-class tasks.

What is the purpose of warm up activities in the classroom? ›

A warm up activity is a short, fun game which a teacher or trainer can use with students. The purpose of a warm up is to: • encourage the students • wake them up – first thing in the morning and after lunch people are often a little sleepy • prepare them to learn by stimulating their minds and/or their bodies.

Why warming up is necessary for any learners? ›

A good warm-up routine is necessary to keep the muscles warm and prevent injuries. Warming up helps the body distribute oxygen to the training muscle groups. Warming up raises body temperature, reducing the risk of muscle and tendon injuries.

How do you warm up students in class? ›

Warm-up activities for all levels
  1. Photo sharing mingle (10-20 minutes) ...
  2. Asking correct questions (10-15 minutes) ...
  3. Vocabulary race (15-20 minutes) ...
  4. As many uses for a potato (20 minutes) ...
  5. Special word detectives (30 minutes) ...
  6. The thing of my dreams (25-30 minutes)
7 Oct 2021

What is another name for bell ringer? ›

The term campanologist is popularly misused to refer to a bell-ringer, but this properly refers to someone who studies bells, which is known as campanology.

What is the purpose of bell ringers? ›

Bell ringers are warm-up activities that students complete at the beginning of class—when the bell rings—while teachers take attendance, pass out materials or briefly catch up with students who have been absent.

What are 5 importance of warming up? ›

These 5 tips will give you a good routine to ensure the right outcome. Warming up helps the body to deliver oxygen to the exercising muscle groups. Warming up increases body temperature, which reduces the chance for muscle and tendon injuries. A 5 minute warm-up increases blood flow to the exercising muscles.

Why do we warm up 5 reasons? ›

A warmup gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of preexercise heart rate and blood pressure.

What are the three main purposes of a warm up? ›

5 Reasons Why Warm Up Exercises Are Important
  • 1 . They help to increase body and muscle temperature.
  • 2 . You'll reduce your risk of injury.
  • You'll increase your flexibility, which will help with other exercise.
  • You'll be ready to tackle the heavy-duty machines at the gym.
9 Feb 2018

What are 5 warm-up exercises? ›

How do I warm up before exercise?
  • fast-paced walking.
  • walking up and down stairs.
  • fast-paced side stepping.
  • jogging on the spot.
  • arm swings.
  • lunges.
  • squats.

What are the three types of warm-up? ›

There are three types of warm ups you can do before your next workout:
  • Cardio Warm Ups. Cardio warm ups quickly raise your body temperature and get your blood flowing.
  • Dynamic Movement. ...
  • Static stretches.
1 Oct 2021

What are the important things to remember when warming up? ›

How to Warm Up
  • Jog for three to five minutes. ...
  • Stretch major muscle groups first. ...
  • Stretch sport-specific groups next. ...
  • Start your activity or sport with basic skills. ...
  • Jog for three to five minutes. ...
  • Lightly stretch the major muscle groups. ...
  • Hydrate!

What happens if a classroom is too hot? ›

Lower test scores, decrease in memory ability, lack of energy and losing focus are just a few symptoms of too hot or too cold temperature conditions in the classroom. Students and teachers suffer the same symptoms.

How warm should a classroom be? ›

Despite removal of this regulation, the NEU position remains that temperatures in school classrooms should be at least 18ºC (64.4ºF).

How do you create a warm and welcoming classroom? ›

Tips for Setting Up a Warm and Welcoming Classroom
  1. Establish relationships early on. Allow your students a glimpse at who you are outside of the classroom. ...
  2. Build relevance between your classroom and your students' lives. ...
  3. Create space for curiosity and discovery. ...
  4. Inspire confidence in each student in your classroom.
3 Aug 2021

Is bell ringing difficult? ›

Bellringing is a challenging and rewarding activity. It is not “instant”, it does take a little while to become a competent ringer, but it is very satisfying when you reach to stage at which you are able to control your bell and ring with other ringers.

Why is it called a ringer? ›

The idea of a ringer first developed in horse racing, where fast horses were sometime substituted, secretly, for slower ones — this was originally known as a "ring-in." It's thought to have come from the British term of the same name, which means "substitute or exchange." Ringers are occasionally used in many different ...

What is a group of bell ringers called? ›

Band Collective noun for group of bellringers.

What skills do you need to be a bell ringer? ›

The key skills learnt are the ability to watch and listen to the ringing to know when you pull and sound your bell and to be able to varying the pace of your ringing to fit in with the group. This is again usually done with a personal tutor, who will help you to develop the skills.

What is bell ringers for high school? ›

Bell ringers are brief exercises given to students with the purpose of transitioning them into an academic mindset upon arriving to class. These short tasks prompt students to settle into learning and allow teachers time to complete attendance and other administrative duties.

Are Bellringers a formative assessment? ›

Bell ringer activities can also be used as a quick formative assessment so the teacher can determine whether each student is meeting the learning goal. A formative assessment can be formal or informal and is given throughout a unit to check student understanding of a concept.

What are 3 important reasons for cool-down? ›

5 Reasons Why You Need to Cool Down after a Workout
  • Regulating your heart rate. ...
  • Reducing the build-up of lactic acid. ...
  • Preventing injuries Like warming up, cooling down after exercises help prevent injuries such as muscle tears. ...
  • Body restoration. ...
  • Stress relief and relaxation.
17 Apr 2021

What are 5 importance of cooling down? ›

The overarching goal of a cool-down is to reduce heart and breathing rates, gradually cool body temperature, return muscles to their optimal length-tension relationships, prevent venous pooling of blood in the lower extremities, which may cause dizziness or possible fainting, and restore physiologic systems close to ...

What are the side effects of not warming up? ›

When you skip the warm-up, it makes you body more susceptible to sprained muscles, cramps, and other injuries. These injuries could actually prevent you from exercising altogether until you recover, and this is the opposite of the healthy lifestyle you are trying to live.

What are the disadvantages of not performing warm-up and cool down? ›

Choosing to cut corners and ditch the warm-up (or even cool down) means you may: Not prepare your muscles for recovery after the fact. Unable to efficiently prepare yourself mentally to the best of your ability. Potential to cause unnecessary stress and strain on your muscles – particularly your heart.

What are the purposes of a warm-up activities and why? ›

The purpose of a warm up is to prevent injury by increasing the body's core and muscle temperature. Warm muscles increase the rate of energy production which increases reflexes and lowers the time it takes to contract a muscle. A good warm up should also increase range of motion and mentally prepare you for exercise.

What are the 4 elements of warm-up? ›


There are four key elements, or parts, which should be included to ensure an effective and complete warm-up. These elements consist of the general warm-up, static stretching, a sports-specific warm-up, and dynamic stretching.

What are the 2 main parts of a warm-up? ›

The constituent parts of warming up and cooling down. Warming up should include: gradual pulse-raising activity. stretching.

What activities are not good ways to warm-up? ›

jumping hurdles, lifting weights, sprinting

What are the four main objectives of a warm-up? ›

The exercises before any physical activity pursue four main objectives: raising body temperature, increasing metabolic activity, increasing heart and respiratory rate and preparing the muscles for the subsequent effort.

Which of the following is not a benefit of warm-up? ›

Which of the following is NOT a benefit of a good warm up? You should warm up at a level that produces a small amount of perspiration, but doesn't leave you feeling fatigued.

Can schools shut if too hot? ›

The DfE said: “We aren't advising schools to close during high temperatures, but school leaders should make sure they take any steps necessary to make sure children are safe and comfortable.”

Why is it always so cold in classrooms? ›

Because people radiate heat, rooms always tend to get hotter and never colder. A classroom that is a comfy temperature when you walk into it when its empty will become intolerable when it's full of people. So building managers tend to err on the side of making a room cold rather than warm.

How does heat affect studying? ›

When you're in an environment that's hot or cold, maintaining homeostasis becomes your mind and body's priority, making it harder to concentrate on schoolwork. A 2015 study of 140 fifth-grade classrooms found that both ventilation and temperature affected students' test scores.

Is there a limit to how hot a classroom can be? ›

The regulation requires schools with air conditioners to maintain a temperature that does not exceed 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 65% relative humidity when occupied by students (410 Ind.

What is the coldest a classroom can be? ›

It should also be noted the Health and Safety Executive says that although the law does not state a minimum or maximum temperature, the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least: 16 degrees. 13 degrees if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort.

How does temperature affect classroom? ›

Temperature has been shown to have a tremendous impact on student performance, and it all begins with altering our mood. Temperature's effect on mood decreases memory and cognitive ability which is what affects learning ability.

What makes a classroom feel welcoming? ›

A welcoming classroom is about community and equity. By keeping these two ideas in mind, you can create an environment where students feel safe, visible and valued and where they are provided access to rigorous curriculum that engages and challenges them in meaningful ways.

How do you create a welcoming inclusive classroom? ›

Five Steps for Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Learning Environments
  1. Build Trusting Relationships. Know all of your students as people not just as learners. ...
  2. Ensure Safety and Inclusion. ...
  3. Make Diversity Visible. ...
  4. Set High Expectations and Deepen Learning Opportunities. ...
  5. Learn and Grow.

How long should a bell ringer take? ›

In my experience, bell-ringers typically take between 5-10 minutes to complete. However, this will vary depending on what type of bell-ringer you are doing. Some teachers prefer a short, 5-minute bell-ringer, while others prefer to dive in a little deeper and spend more time as it pertains to their lesson.

Do bell ringers go deaf? ›

Church bells create sound with a large sound pressure level that can be heard from a great distance. However, despite the characteristics of the sound of church bells, bell ringers do not present symptoms of occupational hearing loss unlike musicians and construction workers.

Is a bell ringer a concussion? ›

"Mild concussions, often called, 'dings' or 'bell ringers', are by far the most common type of concussion in high school athletes," said study investigator Michael Collins, Ph. D., assistant director of the UPMC program. "We've proven in recent studies that mild concussions can have significant neurocognitive effects.

Why do church bell ringers wear gloves? ›

Handbell players wear gloves because their hand oils tarnish the bells. This in turns leads to the traditional end of the season 'Handbell Polishing Party'. Handbells are remarkably fragile and may require reshaping if they are rung too forcibly.

Do the bell ringers get paid? ›

Average The Salvation Army Bell Ringer hourly pay in the United States is approximately $10.91, which meets the national average.

Why does the bell ring at 12pm? ›

Commemorating the Victory Against the Turks

Well, history says that during the siege Pope Callixtus III asked all Catholic kingdoms in Europe to pray for the victory of the defenders. He ordered every church to toll the bells every day at noon, as a reminder for the prayers.

Do deaf people nod? ›

The 'deaf person nod' is a common habit deaf people slip into – usually when they aren't comfortable asking for clarification. It's understandable really – no one wants to feel like the annoying person who's constantly asking others to repeat themselves. So what do you do if someone gives you the deaf nod?

Do deaf people hear buzzing? ›

Myth: Only those with hearing loss get tinnitus

Yes, those with hearing loss can also get tinnitus, and they are often related. But it is also possible to get tinnitus without having hearing loss.

Can you still hear while deaf? ›

CAN DEAF PEOPLE HEAR? It is surprising to many people outside of the Deaf Community, but Deaf people can often hear. The Deaf are considered deaf once they have passed a certain decibel (dB) hearing loss. Many people who are profoundly deaf can still hear planes, dogs barking, etc.

What are the 5 types of concussions? ›

3 Types of Concussions

Below are the three grades of concussion: Grade 1, Mild: Symptoms that last less than 15 minutes and entail no loss of consciousness. Grade 2, Moderate: Symptoms that last for longer than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness. Grade 3, Severe: The person loses consciousness.

What is the ringing of a bell immediately after a death called? ›

A death knell is the ringing of a church bell immediately after a death to announce it. Historically it was the second of three bells rung around death, the first being the passing bell to warn of impending death, and the last was the lych bell or corpse bell, which survives today as the funeral toll.

What is the sound of a school bell called? ›

tintinnabulation Add to list Share. The noun tintinnabulation refers to a bell-like sound, like the tintinnabulation of wind chimes blowing in the breeze. The sound of bells ringing, like church bells on a Sunday morning, can be called tintinnabulation.

Are handbells hard to play? ›

A handbell ensemble acts as one instrument, with each musician responsible for particular notes, sounding his or her assigned bells whenever those notes appear in the music. It is actually very difficult to perform a piece of handbell music, because it needs great cooperation, coordination, and also a conductor.

What do you call someone who plays handbells? ›

People who play handbells are called “ringers.” We've heard all the jokes—don't worry. 2. There are only two handbell makers in the United States, Schulmerich and Malmark, and they have a longstanding rivalry.

What is a group of handbell ringers called? ›

A handbell group (known variously as a team, ensemble, choir or orchestra) will have a set of handbells covering all the notes over 2 or more octaves (including all the sharps and flats!). They play these together and in sequence to create a piece of music, complete with melody and harmony.


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