I’ve tried it ALL. At my school it is customary to have a “Do Now” activity on the board when students enter my classroom. I have already seen how a variety of teachers have implemented their Do Nows, but seeing all these different variations only leaves me even more confused! I just want to do what works!
…Prior-Knowledge, Activators, Admit-Slips, Oh My
Do Nows are important. They can be the “hooks” we hang new information on or a way to recap the previous day’s learning.
In efforts to maintain routine and consistency, sometimes we want to see our curriculum be similarly oriented. But the bottom-line is that students are not as complicated as we think in regards to the Do Now setup. Students will feel satisfied that there is a short, engaging, and independently doable activity for them to do upon entering your classroom.
First, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT agonize over such a small element of your entire lesson plan. Spending an hour to agonize over 5 minutes of a lesson plan is not helpful in this industry, since time is not ever on your side.Teachers, ditch the flashdrive. Get Dropbox and you will never regret it.
Secondly, understand that as the content and skills to be taught will change within a unit or lesson of study, it may require that you employ a different sort of “Do Now.” Don’t be so rigid that you have to use the same sort of “Do Now” everyday. Switch it up so that it organically flows with the lesson. Soon students will adapt to the various techniques you use.
DO pick one phrase and stick with it.
Do make it easily checkable by a table-mate or class vote.
DON’T make it one more thing you’ll collect to grade.
Want to read more on this topic? Then check out this article, Why I No Longer Use Bellringers from the Center of Teacher Quality.