I know… What could do nows possibly have to do with classroom management right? Everything actually…
WHY Do Nows?
Do nows, otherwise known as bell work, otherwise known as warm up work, are very important to my entry routine which is essential to how I start my class on the right foot every day. Below, I have outlined the many different reasons why do nows support my entry routine:
- Do nows allow for every student to enter the room swiftly safely and silently- I setup the expectation at the beginning of the year that students enter the room swiftly safely and silently and they are able to do this because there is an expectation of them when they enter, that they grab their binder and start their do now which is posted on the board. With huge classes, if they were told to enter silently, and get seated but then there was nothing for them to “do” afterwards, of COURSE they’ll start speaking before everyone else has entered, and YOU would too.
- Do nows allow for every student to feel competent and successful to start the class– The purpose of a do now is NOT to stump students. I like reviewing information taught the previous day in the do now. EVERY student should be able to complete the work with no help from me. If it is too challenging they’ll be confused, have questions and feel shut down to start the class. If it is something they can do easily, they feel successful from the start!
- Do nows allow for me to greet EVERY student at the door and “see” them before class begins- I do a password when students come in the door. It is not at all about the password. I always choose something SUPER simple for that too. (and actually only two of my classes are doing a password right now…other classes aren’t ready for that addition to their routine so they just pass me at the threshold… so I can still “check in” ) It is more about “seeing” my students and them feeling like I am checking in every day. I can tell in an instant if a student is “off” or having a rough day, just by their demeanor, posture, and reaction to me at the door. The “do now” allows me this check in time because students who have already entered are “doing” something
- Do nows allow me to quickly review the content taught the day before: Students who were not in attendance the previous day, attempt to do the do now and if they can’t they write “I was not here yesterday” (at first in English and then I explain later on how to write that in Spanish once they’ve been exposed to the language enough). After 3-4 minutes I ask several students to share what they wrote for their do now. THEY feel successful, and we also have time to start with input from the day before to review!
- Do nows allow for a calm and quiet start to class: Students know what to expect. It is the same routine every single day. They know that immediately after a do now, everything (EVERYTHING) gets put under their chair and we start with the “input” of the day.
- Do nows allow ME to feel prepped, adjusted, and ready to start another class: I teach 6 classes per day. 30-32 students per class. Some classes have 0 minutes transition time. Literally, one class ends at 9:33 and the next class STARTS at 9:33. Do now time allows me to get into a better head space, observe who is in the class, take a peek at the agenda, recall what the plan is, and ease into class, POISED, and calm.
What should we CALL the DO NOW?
Personally, I call it the “al entrar” but here is a post on the iFLT/NTPRS/CI page on Facebook where people give their various titles for it. It is the second post on the page by Melanie Tupaj, there are 83 comments.
Where should they complete these DO NOWs?
What are some examples of DO NOWs?
Well the possibilities are really endless. What is absolutely essential though, is that EVERY student can complete the do now successfully without coming and asking you questions. You need to be able to greet students at the door (password or not), then adjust yourself mentally, and get “set” for this class. Students need to feel successful doing this on their own. Here are some examples of Do Nows I’ve given in the past (notice, Do nows, in English are ok too, if it is on topic!)
So there you have it! Another important piece to my classroom management system! 🙂 Another routine that I can’t imagine teaching without!
Just came back from ACTFL19 in DC and I am SO tired and SO grateful for a week off with my family! Grateful for this blogging time while my handsome boy sleeps! 🙂
Much love to all of you! and until next time,
La Maestra Loca