15 Fun Bell Ringers That Take Boredom Out of Bell Work

Instead of the same old tired bell ringers your middle and high school students are used to, why not throw in a few fun bell ringers that take students’ focus to the next level?

What Are Bell Work Activities?

Bell work activities, also known as bell work, are brief exercises given to students at the beginning of class that transition them into learning mode.

Teachers use this time to take care of administrative tasks such as taking attendance or putting away materials from a previous lesson.

What Is A Bell Ringer Question?

Bell ringer questions are types of bell work activities that consist of sentences that are worded in a way to elicit information from students.

Within this post, you’ll find examples of fun bell ringer questions for middle and high school students.

Fun Bell Ringers

Because teachers only have a block of time with students each day, it’s imperative to maximize every minute.

The start of class is the time to do that, and that’s where bell ringers come in.

However, the same routine can get boring, resulting in students becoming disengaged and disruptive even before the main lesson begins.

So in order to hook students’ attention quickly, incorporate fun bell ringers into the mix.

These fun bell ringers should be activities that motivate students to engage deeply, prompting critical thinking and even discussion.

Following you will find a collection of ideas and activities to use as fun bell ringers. This list even includes online bell ringers.

Related: free printable bell ringers, bell ringers for middle school, bell ringers for high school

1. Quizlet

Quizlet creates a more engaged classroom using interactive games and resources.

Whether you teach English, math, science, social studies, art, etc. you can make fun bell ringers by using the many tools that Quizlet offers.

Middle and high school students gain the confidence and motivation to learn just about anything using the online platform.

2. Fun Riddles

In addition to helping students think critically, riddles provide fun!

To use as fun bell ringers, write or project one or two riddles on the board. Students try to guess the answer.

See this list of fun riddles for ideas.

3. Emoji Writing Prompts

Add a bit of excitement to writing by utilizing emoji writing prompts.

Emoji writing prompts spark the imagination, encourage critical thinking, and really get students focused fast.

Students may respond to emoji writing prompts in blog form, in a reader response journal, or within a collaborative Google Slides presentation.

4. ABC Collaborative Presentations

First, choose a theme for the presentation.

For example, if you teach English, the theme may be Shakespeare. If you teach science, the theme could be the water cycle.

Next, create a Google Slides presentation with 27 slides, one page for each letter of the alphabet plus a title page.

Each student will be assigned a letter of the alphabet.

If you have more than 26 students, assign more than one student to a letter.

OR

If you have less than 26 learners, assign more than one letter to each student.

Now you will share the slide presentation with students via Google Slides, enabling “editing” privileges.

Students record within their respective Google Slides any words, thoughts, images, actions, quotes, etc. associated with the theme.

Students will be curious to see what their classmates are producing. They can interact using the comments feature.

5. Finish the Picture

This fun bell ringer idea is always a hit.

Show or give students a piece of a picture, and then let them use their creativity to turn it into something amazing.

It’s hilarious and interesting to see their creations.

6. Funny Picture Writing Prompts

Images ignite interest. Add humor, and now you’ve got a recipe for success.

To use as fun bell ringers, simply project one of these funny picture writing prompts onto the board for students to answer or discuss.

7. Sum of a Word

For this fun bell ringer idea, students calculate the sum of a word or phrase. Words can be related to a theme or current unit of study.

Here’s the code:

A = 1, B = 2,  C = 3,  D =4,  E = 5, F = 6, G = 7, H = 8,  I = 9, J = 10, K = 11, L = 12,  M = 13, N = 14,  O = 15,  P =16,  Q = 17, R = 18, S = 19, T = 20, U = 21, V = 22, W = 23, X = 24, Y = 25,  Z = 26

Example: What’s the sum of the word space?

S =19, P = 16, A = 1, C = 3, E = 5

The sum of space = 44

8. Jingle Writing

Students write a fun jingle that relates to a theme or current unit of study.

This bell work activity helps students practice composing a tune and creating rhymes.

9. Speech Bubbles

With this fun ringer idea, students “speak” for characters.

Provide students with an image of a scene that has characters. (Google Images works well for this purpose.)

If possible, connect the scene with a current unit of study.

Students will now add speech bubbles to the scene. They can do this in a response journal or within a Google Slides document.

Choose a handful of students to explain their thinking with the class.

10. Hidden Picture Puzzles

A somewhat digital version of hide-and-seek, students will strengthen their observation skills while having fun using free online hidden picture puzzles.

Discover how observant they are!

11. Blackout Poetry

Your creative middle and high schools students will appreciate this fun bell ringer activity.

Blackout poetry entails blocking out some words from the pages of a text in order to create a new poem.

This bell work idea can be done physically or digitally. See how easy it is to do blackout poetry.

See also … quick how-to guide for blackout poetry.

12. Creating Quizzes

What student doesn’t love to step into the shoes of the teacher?

Students create a mini-test or quiz related to a current theme of study.

To make things even more fun, allow learners to answer each other’s quizzes and/or add a few of their quiz items to actual classroom tests.

13. Emoji Summary Writing

Spark students’ creativity using emoji poetry writing or emoji response writing.

With this bell ringer, learners summarize what they’ve been learning using emojis.

Or they respond to a question or statement given by the teacher using emojis.

This activity can be modified as a digital bell ringer.

14. Kahoot

A free, online bell ringer, Kahoot is fun because it’s game-based.

Students respond to surveys, discussions, or quizzes created by the teacher on their own devices.

15. Comic Strips

Provide students with a comic strip template, and then have them create a storyline related to a current unit of study.

The storyline can be fictional, informative, persuasive … whatever genre students want to explore.

To make this bell ringer even more exciting, have students complete the comic strips digitally.

See the best student apps for creating comics online.

Final Thoughts

Leave monotony behind using these fun bell ringers for students.

Not only will students focus more quickly, they’ll engage deeper in the subject matter resulting in a better learning experience.