Language arts bell ringers for middle school? Start class in an organized way with engaging activities.
Thoroughly making bell ringers for middle school language arts classes can be time consuming, but once you organize the start of your class period, the rest of you class will improve.
When I taught middle school, I used a variety of bell ringers. The key? Consistency. I found what worked for each class and stayed with that tool.
Five middle school bell ringers for ELA that worked for me are below, along with a handful of free downloads.
Journal bell ringers.
Writing at the start of a class period makes perfect ELA bell ringers for middle school students. You can grab my free journal sheets to get started.
You can assemble a packet of writing prompts or ask students to use a notebook. Another option is to keep a running Google Slides presentation of their writing. (If you want standard layouts, go to “page setup” and change the dimensions.) With a digital journal, students can add pictures and images.
If your bell ringers for middle school language arts include journaling, you can then connect those writing ideas to grammar lessons.
Grammar bell ringers.
Grammar bell ringers for middle school allow me to start with grammar and then connect those concepts to writing or language from reading. As I created these grammar task cards, I had certain goals for them:
- I wanted to make task cards. Individual teachers can add personal touches to task cards. Use them as quiet class work (passing them from student to student around the room, with individual answer sheets), partner work, or group work. You might use these cards for middle school in one way, high school another way.
- I wanted visually pleasing classroom materials. So often older students miss out on the fun layouts from younger grades. Put these in plastic bags or bins to reuse next year.
- I wanted answer sheets for students. Some teachers may not use them (if they have students write on individual cards), but the option is included.
- Finally, I wanted digital options for students who are not present in class.
I print these cards, laminate them, and sort them. Doing so allows me to use them for many years.
Overall, they address language standards, and I can connect the ideas to student writing, especially if my middle school bel ringers include writing.
Coloring bell ringers.
Sometimes, a middle school class needs to calm down as they enter the room. Middle school bell ringers can include options that you don’t grade. I’ve had classes that I’ve given coloring sheets, and students begin doodling and working on them in a low-stress manner.
I don’t grade these bell ringers, but I do connect them to the rest of class by adding notes and examples.
Infographic bell ringers.
Typically when I assign infographics as bell ringers, student start a new one at the start of the week and then finish it at the end of the week.
If you want infographics for middle school bell ringers, you can create the images (and add shapes and fonts) in Google Slides and have students manipulate them.
Interactive notebook bell ringers.
When I taught middle school, we created interactive notebooks. (You can download three templates for free in my resource library.) Perfect ELA bell ringers for middle school include a focus on an interactive notebook with specific directions for each day.
For instance, you might ask students to work on their interactive notebook every day. Then, each day can be personalized. You could ask students to color, add details from the previous day’s story, write practice sentences, or answer a writing prompt.
With bell ringers for middle school language arts, the importance is for consistency. When students know how you want them to start class, when they know they’ll start working as they enter the classroom, and when they anticipate the type of work, classroom management will improve.
Your relationships with students will improve too. I hope these ideas for ELA bell ringers for middle school will work in your classroom.
Are you interested in bell ringers for high school ELA? Check out my post about more bell ringers.
Are you looking for middle school language arts bell ringers? That post covers student choice and engagement in middle school.