FREE Secondary Grammar and Mechanics Bell-Ringers | Warm-Ups | Secondary | High School

FREE Secondary Grammar and Mechanics Bell-Ringers | Warm-Ups | Secondary | High School

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DOL : Daily Oral Language | Grammar and Mechanics Bell-Ringers | Warm-Ups | Daily Punctuation Practice for Middle and High School | Secondary Lessons Punctuation

PDF AND Google Doc Format Included


Why Daily DOL? Daily warm-ups or bell-ringers provide structure and predictability for students, which helps tremendously with behavior management. The first few minutes of class sets the tone for the remainder of the period, so having a meaningful daily activity to begin class sets the stage for success.


Moreover, throughout my 13 years in the secondary classroom, I found that most secondary students--even the best writers-- need DIRECT DAILY INSTRUCTION with grammar and mechanics. Using these DOL paragraphs as part of your daily routine is a quick way to explicitly address the skill set that young writers so desperately need! 

We learn through repetition, and daily DOL warm-ups will significantly improve your students’ writing skills! Students rarely receive explicit instruction with grammar and mechanics beyond elementary school, and as secondary teachers we often think they don’t need it, or we simply don’t have the time to address it in isolation. However, you’ll find these daily mini-lessons to be quick and--most importantly--effective!

In addition to strengthening your students’ writing skills, these daily mini-lessons allow you to address the social-emotional domain. Regardless of the subjects we teach, we all want our students to be socially and emotionally healthy, but we don’t all have the resources or time to teach SEL in isolation. Each daily DOL paragraph is based on modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness and is intended to support students with their metacognitive growth.  As a student of positive psychology for more than 20 years and a teacher of personal development for more than a decade, I have drawn upon years of research to create informative and inspirational daily paragraphs. 


Implementing DOL:

PRE-ASSESSMENT: Sometimes (because they are a bit embarrassed to admit they need this instruction in high school) students initially object to this daily exercise. They might say it’s too remedial for them and insist they “already know this stuff.” Therefore, to justify doing it as a warm-up every day, and to nip the complaining in the bud, I have students complete the first paragraph independently as a pre-assessment. I tell them, “If you don’t need this instruction, show me you don't need it, and we can skip it in the future.”

Then I collect them, grade these first paragraphs on my own (I use a quick 1-4 grading scale), record the grades so I can measure growth throughout the semester/year, and return them to students. I have NEVER, in my 13 years of teaching high school, found that students didn't need this daily direct instruction. Upon receiving their graded initial assessments and seeing for themselves how much they need to learn, they will never argue again about doing the daily warm-up.


Ongoing Assessments: I use every Friday’s DOL as a quiz, and then record those grades so I can monitor growth. On the Monday following the quiz, we review correct answers together. These grades could be considered formative or summative, depending on your grading model. You might consider allowing students to review past DOL exercises or notes during the quizzes. 


Introducing DOL to Students:

There are a couple ways to implement the activity. I begin by reviewing the What the Heck is a Clause? handout (included in this free download). Then, I project the DOL document onto the white board and give each student a paper copy of the DOL packet (or share the Google Doc with them and instruct them to edit with highlights). I give students two minutes to correct a paragraph on their own (one paragraph a day). Then, I make corrections on the board and have them follow along with me to ensure they made all necessary corrections. I tell them to use a colored pen or marker when correcting with me so I can quickly glance at their papers and see what they’re getting on their own and what they are needing help with. The entire activity shouldn’t take more than six to eight minutes.

Another idea is to have students come to the board to do the corrections. They will need guidance, and the activity will take a bit longer, but they love participating, and who doesn’t love writing on the board?! You can ask for volunteers or pull a name randomly out of a jar. They engage more if they know they may be called upon at some point to do the DOL in front of the class.


You will download this free resource in PDF format, and within the PDF you will be guied to an editable Google Doc (in case you prefer to use that format).

Be sure to peek at my larger DOL bundles for the year.


Much love,