Teaching Bell to Bell and Teacher/Student Proximity
Teaching bell to bell is the term used interchangeably with student on task behavior in the classroom. Students need all the time they can get to work on educational activities even 5 minutes lost each day adds up to quite a bit of time over the courses of a school year. Bellwork is a very good way to assure that students are not wasting time while the teacher is taking roll and doing other administrative activities. Bellwork can be anything the students are able to do independently without asking the teacher questions. It could be a review of a previous day’s lesson a short three or four question quiz, a short writing prompt or journal entry, a few vocabulary words from an upcoming or previous lesson, a prompted prediction or higher order thinking question to provoke interest in the upcoming lesson for the day. It should be something different each day, so that students do not become bored. Bellwork should be planned in advance, along with the regular weekly planning and should be something the students can complete in no more than 10 minutes time. Bellwork does not need to be graded by the teacher. In fact, if students grade their own bellwork, they get immediate feedback and have the opportunity to ask questions if there is something they still don’t understand. Engaging students in time on task depends on the students the teacher has and the curricular goals the teacher is pursuing and will include any number of strategies that will fall into the following categories; explanation, modeling, guided practice and independent practice and can be paired with a proximity strategy.
Teacher/student proximity is reported in the literature as an effective classroom management strategy for keeping students on task, making smooth transitions from one activity to another, and decreasing unwanted behavioral problems related directly to time spent off task. Teacher/student proximity should...