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school6 Fun Morning Work and Bell Ringer Ideas

6 Fun Morning Work and Bell Ringer Ideas

The first five minutes of class can set the tone for an entire lesson. So what can you do to capture your students’ attention and get them ready to learn right away? This is where fun morning work and bell ringer activities come in handy.

These start-of-class activities go by many different names — morning bell work, do nows, and warm ups, to name a few. No matter what you call them, they all serve a similar purpose: to get your students’ minds moving the moment they walk through your door. 

If you need a little morning and bell work inspiration, check out these ideas and resources from fellow educators like you.

Morning Work and Bell Work Activities for Elementary, Middle School, and High School

1. Creative and critical thinking questions

Jump start your students’ creativity and critical thinking with bell ringer questions and prompts that get them thinking outside the box. For example, have students reflect on a provocative quote, ask them to brainstorm solutions to a problem, or prompt them to invent a new technology. By kick starting class with higher-order thinking, your students will be ready to take on any learning challenge.

Creativity Jump Starts: STEM Bell Ringers for Out of the Box Thinking!

By Playful Stem

Grades 3-6

Morning Work Journal or Bell Ringers 

By Teaching With a Mountain View

Grades 4-8

2. Social emotional learning prompts and journals

Teaching social-emotional learning (SEL) is critical to student success, but it can be difficult to find time for it during the busy school day. So why not take advantage of those first few moments of class to support it? Help students prepare their minds and bodies for learning by assigning a daily check-in or SEL activity as morning work or bell ringers.

Daily Social Emotional Learning Warm Up Journal

By Allie Szczecinski with Miss Behavior

Grades 2-5

Growth Mindset Bell Ringers | 40 SEL Writing Prompts For Any Subject | Volume 2

By Mister Harms

Not Grade Specific

3. Morning tubs and hands-on activities

Who says morning work has to be pencil and paper? Try something hands on, such as morning tubs, to get students engaged in learning right away. Morning tubs are bins that are pre-filled with an activity and various hands-on materials, such as manipulatives, puzzles, spinners, dice, or dominoes. For younger students, they can be a great opportunity to develop those fine motor skills.


By Tara West – Little Minds at Work

Grades PreK-K

4th Grade Morning Tubs Work Bin Hands-on Activities Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

By Cynthia Vautrot – My Kind of Teaching

Grade 4

4. Brain teasers and logic puzzles

Encourage your students to put on their thinking caps during morning work or bell work with brain teasers and logic puzzles! Share a riddle, rebus puzzle, or logic game as a fun way for students to put their minds to work. You could even add a collaborative element by having your students think through the puzzles in partners or groups.

Brain Teaser Bell Ringers | Digital Math Morning Work | Logic Puzzles

By Acres of Learning

Grades 4-7

BRAIN TEASERS VOL. 2 – Logic, Word Sense, Puzzles, Lateral Thinking – Fun Stuff

By Laura Randazzo

Grades 8-11

5. Article of the day or week

Assigning an article of the day or week is a fantastic way to incorporate reading comprehension and relevant content into your morning work or bell ringers. No matter what you teach — social studies, math, music, science — you can bring in thought-provoking articles and passages that build students’ curiosity and comprehension skills.

Article of the Week Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Passages Weekly 4th 5th 6th

By Lindsay Flood

Grades 4-6

Strange Geography Article of the Day-Bellringers-Reading Comprehension Passages

By Think Tank

Grades 6-9

6. Concept review activities

Last but certainly not least, those first minutes of class are an excellent opportunity to review key concepts and skills with students. Whether you’re reviewing the prior day’s learning or circling back to a previously taught skill, devoting a little time to review every day can help those important concepts sink in. You might even consider differentiating your morning work or bell ringers based on the needs of your individual students.

1st Grade Daily Math Warm Up and Morning Work – 120 Chart Review

By Mr Elementary Math 

Grades K-2

Science Daily Warmups FULL YEAR | Bell ringers | 4th grade & 5th grade

By The Science Penguin

Grades 4-5

Daily Grammar Practice with Editable Spiraled ELA | Morning Work

By Tanya G Marshall The Butterfly Teacher

Grades 4-6

MUSIC VOCAB 10 Minute Terms | Music Bellringers | Secondary Music Vocabulary

By Sarah Stockton Resources

Grades 6-12

BACK TO SCHOOL FULL YEAR ALGEBRA 1 WARM UPS Bundle | Bell Ringers | Exit Tickets

By Algebra Accents 

Grades 7-10

With these morning and bell work ideas and activities in hand, you’re sure to start your lessons off strong. If you need more inspiration, be sure to check out other morning work and bell ringer resources on TPT.

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