Opening Bell: Opening Bell

 
 
 
Opening Bell
Teacher In Action
 
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Instructional Openings

Opening Bell

Opening Bell is a strategy I use to start class every day. I start by asking students to "clamshell" their computers--closing their devices almost all the way--and then I give a whole-class greeting. We spend the next two minutes checking the review section of the class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson, announcements, and/or administrative tasks. Given that my students spend a significant portion of each class working independently or in small groups, Opening Bell gives us the opportunity to come together as a whole-class community before students start working on their own.

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
When the three-minute timer has expired, my students “clamshell” their devices and I give the whole-class greeting that signals the official start of class. The next two minutes are spent checking the review section of their class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson (introduction of new material), announcements, and/or administrative tasks.
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
When the three-minute timer has expired, my students “clamshell” their devices and I give the whole-class greeting that signals the official start of class. The next two minutes are spent checking the review section of their class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson (introduction of new material), announcements, and/or administrative tasks.
Tanesha Dixon
Wheatley Education Campus
Washington, DC


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Social Studies
Grade:
Eighth grade
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Mindsets
Tanesha's Mindsets

A blended teacher’s personal mindsets shape her decisions as an educator. These mindsets influence general pedagogies, instructional approaches, and short-term decision making, alike. Check out how Tanesha’s mindsets have helped to shape her blended instruction.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Tanesha's Model Overview

I implement a station rotation model in my classroom. On a typical day, following brief whole-class direct instruction, my students will rotate through three blended learning stations: small group instruction, collaborative learning, and independent work. At each station, students work either with a teacher, a group of their peers, or individually towards content mastery. The key levers of my model are student self-pacing and small-group instruction. Through a mix of student choice and teacher facilitation, I have been able to activate my students’ learning and accelerate them towards higher academic achievement.

Number of Students: ~25 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 45 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Kahoot!; Plickers; PBWorks; Blackboard; Newsela; Edmodo; BrainPop & BrainPop Jr; Discovery Education Techbook; Padlet; Vimeo; Today’s Meet

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: 25 ASUS T100 laplets with charging cart (1:1); Promethean Board

Key Features: station rotation; student agency

 
Learning Apps
Tech-Enabled Graphic Organizer

In my blended and personalized classroom, I rely heavily on software and digital platforms to guide and supplement my instruction. At the same time, I believe that my students still need to practice traditional paper and pencil skills. Graphic organizers have long been used to help students organize content. In my classroom they are primarily used as a pre-writing tool. The mix of using the digital platforms and paper-pencil gives my students the opportunity to practice both skills simultaneously.

 
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