Making Math a Practice with a Daily Bell Ringer Journal

Calling all 4th and 5th Grade Teachers!!

How many of you are looking for a quick and easy way to make math a daily practice in your classroom? Of course, you will have explicit math lessons and activities to teach new content in your classrooms! But…. I have a great way to use a Math Bell Ringer as a daily spiral review of your math standards and skills!

Similar to other bell ringers, this print and go workbook will be used as a quick, independent activity that can start or end your class. Each entry should only take about 5 minutes to complete and it reviews content and skills that students should be able to complete on their own.

Here are three reasons to use a Math Bell Ringer Journal as a daily practice in your classroom!

1. Daily Bell Ringers provide structure and consistency for classroom procedures.

Each day, as students are entering your classroom or as you are switching from one content to another, there is a high chance of transition minutes being “lost.” Instead, providing a consistent daily activity will allow those minutes to be productive and intentional.

The journal can be printed and bound as a workbook at the beginning of the year. Students can simply get the journal out, turn to the day’s problem or prompt and begin working. Each day’s activity should take less than 5 minutes. This allows for everyone to be ready for the day. **Workbooks can also be printed by week, month, semester, too! Whatever works best for you and your class!

2. Spiraling your math content increases students’ chance of skill retention.

Many math programs and pacing guides have us teaching math content “in order,” meaning we are teaching isolated skills until mastery and then moving on to the next. This is a common practice and can be successful, if you are using and additional tool to spiral previously taught content.

However, if we are teaching skills in isolation and then moving on from them, students are likely to lose mastery. Using a daily bell ringer will have students practicing skills continuously throughout the year so that they can build and improve skills.

3. Real-world application will enhance students’ problem-solving skills.

The journal follows a pattern that will have students working on higher-order thinking problems, real-world skill application and specific math skill practice each week.

For example, on Mondays, students will be thinking and responding to questions about Careers in Mathematics. These entries will have students thinking about how people apply math in their jobs and will be great for writing skills practice!

On Tuesdays, students will be practicing specific math skills that fit 4th and 5th grade standards. Students may be identifying and continuing patterns, practicing geometry, converting measurements, or working with fractions. These skills will cycle through ALL of the mathematics standards: Numbers in Base 10, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Fractions, Geometry, Measurement and Data.

Wednesdays, students will be completing entries with math vocabulary. These days will help expand students language skills and will be consistent practice for CCSS.ELA.RI.4.4 and CCSS.ELA.RI.5.4!

Each Thursday, students will spend a few minutes analyzing graphs and data. This is where students will work with bar diagrams, coordinate graphs, pie charts, line plots and so much more!

And Fridays! Fridays are Real-World Application days. These problems will bring students math in a variety of ways! They may be designing a dog house or calculating numbers for emergency preparedness. They may be estimating distances or planning a grocery trip!

So, if you would like to make math a practice in with a daily bell ringer journal, click here to take a closer look!


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Welcome! My name is Brittany Jeltema, also known as The SuperHERO Teacher, and I am a curriculum designer and classroom flipper. I have a strong passion for helping teachers reach as many students as possible through creativity, engagement, and empowerment!

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