This warm-up activitiy is a way to help students learn to ask thought-provoking questions.
- braille writer or slate/stylus
- previous knowledge
- Given a variety of topics, such as school subjects, nature, games, sports, movies, foods, etc., students create one question per topic. They must have five topic choices.
- They advance three lines between each one, because I am going to cut them apart.
- I then emboss a copy with the students’ questions on them.
- Each day, the students will read a different bellringer, which they will discuss and then braille their own responses.
- Once completed with the bellringer of the day, they put a separation line.
- Students learn the different ways to ask a question and also learn to develop higher-order thinking skills in the process.
- The teacher (me) reads the bellringer, checking the braille, and sometimes the peers check each other’s braille, too.
- I have a daily helper and that person is the one who reads the bellringer.
- I give 10 points per bellringer’s answer. I don’t care what the answers are (unless they are supposed to relate to a factual question), but they have to refer to the subject and I count off for format and braille boo-boos. 1 point off for each. So in one bellringer, a student can get anywhere from a 5-10. If more than five errors, I just stop at 5. Each day we address the errors made and their goal is to avoid that mistake with next braille.
Example from St. Patrick’s Day:
Sample Questions for St. Patrick’s Day Bellringer:
- Monday: If the 4-leaf clover is said to bring good luck, what does the 3-leaf clover bring?
- Tuesday: What if there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, what difference would it make?
- Wednesday: What did you think St. Patrick’s job was?
- Some answers for #1: “A three-leaf clover would not be worth much.” “Three times the luck!”
- #2: “It’s not going to make any difference if there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because you can’t reach it anyway.” Another wrote: “ It would make a whole lot of difference if a pot of gold is in a rainbow, if I found it, I would be rich.”
- #3: “St. Patrick was a preacher.” Another: “ St. Patrick was a farmer.” Answer: “I don’t know what St. Patrick did, but he must have known a lot of people.”
High school students wrote these questions, but a teacher can get so many great questions from all ages and they really like to try to answer questions that their peers wrote.
- Students with low vision who print can practice their braille or if not a braille user, he/she can dictate to a braille user.
- If it’s in large print, I have the braille copy and if it’s in braille, the large print is on the back of the slip of paper.