Science in the City

Sep 9, 2018

How to Organize Bellringers or Tickets Out

How to Organize Bellringers or Tickets Out

How to Organize Bellringers or Tickets Out

What are some of the concerns? 

I have been asked about how I organize my bellwork and warm-ups, both in terms of how I organize the papers and the class time. Some of the complaints that I've heard are against doing warm-ups are: too much grading, too much time being spent in class time, wasted for students to settle down, too much shuffling papers and more.


I have already addressed the grading in a couple of other posts here, here, here, and here.


As far as the class time I'm really a stickler for using a timer and keeping my bell work very short. I know some people do bell work that's a bit longer, it depends on the length of your class, and how you want to run your class time.  I usually keep it to three to five minutes. My bell work is one two three questions. If it really seems that people are working and need an extra minute or two I make extend it.

I enforce that by using a timer that is visible on the Smartboard. Depending upon how you setup your bellwork there are stand-alone timers, internet timers, Smartboard timers, the 1-click timer Chrome extension and many others.

Paper Organization

As far as how to organize the papers I've done it a few ways. I like to keep all my bellwork questions for a one-unit together in either a Google slide presentation, PowerPoint, Smart Board file, etc. Then I have the students answer on a bellwork or warm up sheet link here.  They turn this in each day.  Before their class, I spread them out on either a back table, counter, or something like that.  On their way in the students can grab the paper with their name on it. It's a little extra incentive for them to get to class early or at least on time because the timer starts when the bell rings.

Electronic Organization

When I have done bellwork electronically I have most often used a Google form. I share the link through Google classroom.  They can quickly click on it answer, and all the answers come to me in one place.  I can also turn the form off when the time is up, so that they have to submit in a timely fashion.  I have also done a Google slide.  In this case, I have all my warm ups in that slide file. I copy just today's slide. share it with them through Google classroom or through a force copy.  They put their answers on it and then submit.  Google Classroom really facilitates this very easily.

Class Time

As far as during class time I can usually make a quick assessment if I want to discuss bellwork or go over it based on what I see when students are working.  If I use a Google form where I can get instant feedback then, I can pull the results up on the board and this can help me assess and decide if I want to have a class discussion. If I find out that I'm wrong it's perfectly okay to go back the next day.

What questions do you still have?  Ask them here and I will do my best to answer!

Aug 26, 2018

Save Time: Streamline Your Earth Science Year

If you are teaching Earth Science and you've never taught it before you may be a bit overwhelmed by how to organize the curriculum. Earth Science here in New York State is a combination of Astronomy, Meteorology and Geology with a little bit of Environmental Science mixed in.

That's a lot of different topics!

How to organize it in a way that makes sense to your students? There really a lot of right answers to that and if you look across districts in New York State, or across the country, you will find a lot of different organization systems, of course. I wanted to share with you the Scope and Sequence and pacing guide that I use to organize my class.

I follow this basic outline for a few reasons.

First of all, I think it's important to focus on some of the topics that we know will be on the New York State lab practical later in the year, closer to the exam. Those points are so critical to students really doing well on the exam. I also like to start out the year bringing in topics where things where we can get students outside for some very simple activities (looking at shadow lengths to study the Sun’s path, build in lots of hands-on lab practice early on). I also sometimes like to look at some news stories about hurricanes (often happening near the start of school), or use this as a chance to practice mapping, and foreshadow some of the topics coming later.

By the time we get to study weather and climate, we may have a storm or two to talk about and make some real-time observations. I also like to intermix, or spiral, the topics so that students see the connections between those topics. There are many other ways to organize Earth Science as well, but this is a system that I found works well. If you are looking for starting point please go ahead and download it. This pacing guide includes some basic objectives and approximate time for each unit it's a good pacing guide you going. Then you can always adapt as you see fit.

If you like this, you may be interested in my more complete Earth Science Curriculum Guide, or other Earth Science Resources that I have.

If you do download my free pacing guide, and it helps you organize and streamline your Earth Science curriculum, I’d love to hear your thoughts, either in the comments, or in our Facebook group!

Aug 12, 2018

Huge Secondary Science Giveaway

Super Science Back To School Giveaway! 

Huge Secondary Science Giveaway August 2018

Welcome Back Science Teachers!!

I hope you are thoroughly enjoying your summer!! I know I am! I can’t believe how quickly summer seems to be wrapping up!

Huge Seondary Science Giveaway August 2018

I know some of you are already back at school, and some of you have a few more weeks still.  Even if you’re not quite ready to go back, a bunch of science teachers over at TeachersPayTeachers want to make the transition back as smooth and easy for you as possible.

Fantastic Science Giveaway! 

We have a fantastic giveaway going just for you, science teacher. We are giving away FOUR $100 TeachersPayTeachers gift cards that you can use to save a lot of time and get some awesome resources for your classroom!

Take a few minutes out of the end of your summer to hop from blog to blog and collect all of our secret words. It will be worth it!! They form a secret sentence.

Once you have the sentence, go to any one of the Group Giveaway Rafflecopter boxes, on any one of our blog pages, and type in the secret sentence in the right order.

We will pick four winners after it ends after midnight on Friday August the 17th.

My Secret Word is #2: “knows”

Another Chance to Win! 

A bunch of us are also hosting our own individual giveaways as well, so make sure you stop by and enter to win! All in all, there will be over $1000 worth of prizes given away this week!

For my individual giveaway I am giving away $25 of resources from my store, Science in the City. You can choose any bundle or set of resources that fits your needs. When entering this giveaway you'll be added to my email list; I send out resources and tips for teachers each week!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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