15 Bell Ringers for Middle School To Focus Students Fast

As a teacher, you want to maximize every minute that you have with students.

That is why it is important to get them focused the second they walk into the classroom.

The following bell ringers for middle school serve as activities that will kickstart this process.

What Are Bell Ringers in the Classroom?

Bell ringers, also known as bell work ideas, serve as short tasks that engage students immediately upon arrival to class.

These exercises usually take five to ten minutes to complete.

While students work on bell ringers, the teacher takes attendance or performs other quick duties in preparation for class.

Bell ringers build consistency and routine resulting in better classroom management.

Whether you teach social studies, math, reading, science, or art, you’re sure to find bell work ideas that work for you and your class using this helpful list of bell ringers for middle school students.

What Are Some Good Bell Ringers For Middle School?

Following is a list of the best bell work activities and websites for middle school students.

1. Nonfiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt

As students transition into middle school, their exposure to nonfiction books increases.

To maximize reading comprehension, it’s important for students to understand how nonfiction text features aid understanding.

To support students with this task, provide them with a nonfiction text features scavenger hunt graphic organizer or have them create one in their notebooks or in Google Documents.

As they read a nonfiction book selection you’ve assigned, they will record the name of the text feature in addition to its purpose.

2. Creative Writing Prompts

Encourage students to explore their imaginations by utilizing creative writing prompts.

Take a look at these creative writing prompt ideas.

3. Research

Choose a topic for students to explore. Then ask them to find five facts and then write five opinions about the topic.

Example: Neptune

Using their electronic devices, students search for five facts about the planet.

Then from what knowledge they have gathered, they will brainstorm five opinions about the planet.

Related Content: Free Printable Bell Ringers for Middle School

4. Sudoku Puzzles

It’s ideal if your collection of bell ringers for middle school includes a critical thinking activity or two.

That’s where Sudoku puzzles come in.

Start students with beginner-level Sudoku puzzles, and then increase the level as they get better at completing them.

If you don’t want to print individual copies, consider copying and pasting a Sudoku puzzle inside a Google Slides document.

Guide students in making a “copy” of the Google Slides document.

Now each learner will have access to the Sudoku puzzle and can work from his/her own device.

5. Daily Oral Language

Daily Oral Language consists of language arts exercises that provide students an opportunity to practice writing skills such as capitalization, grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and conventions.

These revising and editing activities make great bell ringers for middle school.

Even better is to have students revise/edit an authentic piece of writing.

6. Map Skills

Map skills enable students to read maps and gather information from the symbols presented on the maps.

In the process of understanding directions, students develop spatial thinking which helps them to comprehend the spaces and places that surround them.

To practice this skill, give students a blank map of a continent, country, state, or city. Then have them label landmarks, significant places, and other points of interest.

As an example, ask students to label the 50 U.S. states and their capitals.

If you want to start with a map activity that students may connect with more easily, have them create a map of the school or of their home.

7. Book Recommendations or Reviews

Students write a recommendation for a book they read recently.


Using the five-star system, students rate a book (with one star being the worst), and then write a review that explains their rating.

8. Heart Map

This bell ringer activity is a great exercise for transitioning students into learning mode in a calming way.

A heart map is a visual map in the form of a heart that students use to record their thoughts about things, people, and places they love.

Have your middle schoolers use colored pens to draw and write their “loves”.

Another variation:

Provide students with a theme or topic. They write this topic in the middle of their heart.

Example: summer

Now students write all the things they love about summer.

9. Fun Middle School Bell Ringers

Sometimes you may want to mix some fun into your bell ringer routine.

If so, check out these fun bell ringers for middle school that keep boredom at bay.

10. Quick Questions

Pose a question related to the previous day’s lesson or the topic of the current class. Students respond individually or in pairs.

11. Picture Prompts

Show an image related to the lesson’s topic or a thought-provoking picture.

Ask your middle schoolers to describe what they see or make predictions about the content to be covered in the class.

    12. Brain Teasers

    Present a short riddle, puzzle, or math problem for students to solve independently or in groups.

    Brain teasers help stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      13. True or False

      Present a series of statements, and students must determine whether each one is true or false.

      This may also spark classroom discussions.

      14. Finish the Sentence

      Provide a partial statement related to the topic of the day, and ask students to complete it with their own thoughts or opinions.

        15. Current Events

        Discuss a recent news event or scientific discovery that connects to the subject matter. This encourages students to see real-world applications of what they are learning.

        Final Thoughts

        Bell ringers should be fun and engaging while still being relevant to the subject matter.

        This selection of middle school bell ringers allows you to rotate the types of bell ringers you use in order to keep things fresh and exciting for students.

        They set the tone for the rest of the class and will improve classroom management while maximizing learning.