Language arts bell ringers? Start class in an organized way.
Thoroughly making bell ringers for language arts classes can be time consuming. I know this because I’ve been working on a large set for the better part of a year. In snatched minutes before bed, early in the morning, I’ve written sentences. Starting class in an organized fashion can be the difference between a good and a bad day.
I worked on task cards so that each one would present only one confusing part of the English language. Students deserve to understand their language and think about it in different ways.
The organization and the need for rigorous discussions drove me to create bell ringers for the language arts classroom.
I’ve created 400 task cards to use as bell ringers for middle school and high school. This culmination of a year’s worth of work? I hope it benefits other teachers and helps students have a deeper understanding of conventions, writing errors, and sentence structure.
This task card bundle is enormous, and I wanted to outline to blog readers how I use them. I call these bell ringers because I use them in middle school for starting class. In high school, I often use these as a quick review like in stations although they would work at the start of class. Basically, I made these so that teachers can make them fit their specific needs.
Goals with grammar bell ringers.
As I created these language arts bell ringers, I had certain goals for them:
- I wanted seasonal specific task cards. I believe that if teachers address students’ excitement and feelings about seasons and holidays, students are happier. (I too get excited about winter break and spring break and warm weather….).While I wanted to write sentences about different times of the year, I didn’t want them to be incredibly rigid. If the January task cards are used in July, no biggie. The sentences will still make sense! Doing this allows teachers to build relationships with students. Big kids care about the weather change and upcoming events, too.
- 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. I know that teachers may not use them (if they have students write on individual cards), but the option is included.
I print these cards, laminate them, and sort them. Doing so allows me to use them for many years.
Task cards of this volume must reach a variety of students! When I decided to build this set, I kept in mind all of the students in my classroom whom I must reach.
You will note that the cover for the grammar errors task cards states “7th – 10th grades.” First, when I teach freshmen and sophomores, I observe that most students still need to focus on understanding the problems first presented in middle school. They are common writing errors, and students need a review.
Second, they specifically address the common core standards for the last two years of middle school, but generally meet the standards for 9th – 10th grades. My interpretation is that older students may need more practice.
Third, it doesn’t hurt to review. If students need a brush-up, great! They will be perfect high school English bell ringers. Many of these errors are on the ACT. This keeps the concepts fresh for students studying for upcoming tests.
Grammar task cards cover. . . ?
What “grammar errors” do these task cards cover?
- misplaced modifiers
- dangling modifiers
- punctuation errors
- capitalization errors
- spelling errors
- passive voice
- subject – verb agreement
- pronoun – antecedent agreement
- mood and voice problems
- run-on sentences
- comma splices
Overall, they address common problems that stump students, that they need to address in their writing.
Finally, I use these at the start of class, as bell ringers. Each month has 32 task cards (December has more) which should allow one or two cards to start each class period. Additionally, the bundle includes 16 cards to use as a diagnostic tool. That’s over 400 task cards.
You may use them as part of stations or as exit tickets. They are not labeled “bell ringers,” but instead have directions to correct the grammar error.
I created these task cards for the students in front of me, and I know they’ll reach the students in front of you.