Everybody does things differently. (duh) One things that I am not great at is structure. What I mean is that I am just not great at having something prepared and up on the board before the kids come in. Also, I teach 3 classes in 3 different classrooms which are in use every period meaning I am rarely in my classroom before my students. So, this is all to say, I am neither good at, nor have the right set up for, bellringers/warm ups.
That’s not the only reason why I don’t do them because both of those pieces could be overcome if I really wanted to. But I don’t. I don’t want to.
Most of my students come straight from another class (science, history, english… ) and their brains are still reeling. Five minutes is not really enough time for a full reboot from Analyzing Shakespeare to the Unit Circle, at least it’s not for me. Also, their brains are full of things to tell me, their friend, the class and I want them out. Not just because I think it clears the way for math but also because I want to know what they want to tell me.
I like to use the first five minutes to get our lives together. To get in the math mindset and to bond because part of the reason they don’t want to disappoint me is because I care and they know it everyday.
I understand this is harder in a class of 30, that this is harder in a class with less structure. But I also know that for me, bellringers and warmups didn’t work in my 35 kid class, either.