Super Simple Warm-Ups

Teaching Strategies and Tips

You know those CRAZY first 5 minutes of your class when it seems like all of your kids are running around and yelling that they don’t have a pencil.  When kids coming up to your desk telling you they were absent or you “lost” their paper (even though that kids NEVER puts their name on ANYTHING).  And the school secretary is calling you and asking why you haven’t submitted your roll yet.

No?  Maybe it’s just me.

When I taught high school, I don’t remember there being this much chaos in these first 5 minutes.  I feel like I just put up my warm up and put my feet up.  Okay, probably not.  But middle school is really a whole new ballgame.

I have had to establish and reteach opening procedures over and over and OVER again.  It doesn’t help that the school that I currently teach at doesn’t have bells between the period because it is a K-8 school.

There are a few rules that I have posted right next to my desk so that I can just point while I am taking role.

  • Get out your notebook, planner, folder and pencil and start your warm up. 
    • Yes you can have a pencil. I buy them just for you!
  • Come see me about your grade during break.  
    • Your grade is important and you deserve my full attention.
  • If you are finished early, please sit quietly so everyone else can continue to work.  

Luckily, I had a really easy warm-up procedure that I follow that takes me about 10 minutes a week to set up.

On Monday, I teach vocabulary.  One Monday, students spend the first few minutes of the period setting up their notebook for the vocabulary.


On Tuesday-Friday, we do a short 5 minute warm up.  I keep the warm ups in a binder located by my document camera.  It is just 2 piece of printer paper folded into 4 squares, hole punched and put into the binder.

The first page is for the questions and the second page is for the answers.  The warm up for each day goes into a box and I zoom into that box with the document camera so that they can’t see the other days.  They have 5 minutes to answer the questions on their own sheet of printer paper.  Then, I flip to the answers and they grade their own.

If I am getting very fancy, I put them onto a google presentation and print them up so that I don’t have to rewrite it the following year.

After two weeks (using both sides of the printer paper) students total up their scores for that two week period and I put the grades into the grade book.

Easy as pie.  And it has to be.  So that you can stay sane.

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