Right before Christmas, we had a weird day where a bunch of kids were gone on a field trip and I wanted to do something with them a little different. I gave them an art challenge for the first 3 minutes.
I set the timer on my smartwatch and challenged them to draw as many different types of trees as they could before time was up. Some kids drew the ones I had on the board, some made up their own, some drew the same tree over and over and over.
I think it set the tone for the rest of the lesson. The kids were slightly more creative after having a 'do now' prompt that warmed up their creativity.
When I first started at the middle school, I began each class period with seatwork. A prompt was on the board and the kids would spend 3-5 minutes responding with either a written response or a sketch. It was always such a pain to collect all the little papers (most of which went into the recycle bin) and keep the pencil trays stocked with paper.
I always felt like it added extra pressure to my sub plan, do I include the seatwork in the instructions or not? What if I forgot to change the prompt on the board and I don't have a new one ready?
Anyway, I'm toying with the idea of having a dry erase prompt more frequently this year.....
Do you do any bell ringers or seat work or art start prompts?