The key to any middle level classroom is structure. At the start of class each day, students learn best when they have the opportunity to focus their attention on learning experiences. On the other side, middle school learners are very social and easily distracted. The ability to “start class” is essential. Bell ringers or getting started activities should have a visual or verbal cue for students. Simply saying "its time to begin" is an important step. From that point on you can engage kids. By doing this on a regular basis, students get in the habit of preparing their minds to learn. In addition you can provide visual cues. Online or face to face, I prefer a presentation slide with the days “bell ringer” Many students will enter the room or log in online and casually read your prompt. This subtle victory is very important, other kids will see this occur and they will model the same behavior. Next thing you know the class will start all by itself. You may ask the question, what kind of bell ringers do I use? There are no limits, but here are a few I like
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