Warm ups are usually meant to be an opportunity for students to get their minds into the game of the subject they are about to study.
Switching from subject to subject with deep concentration during those studies can make it harder for students to bring the next lesson’s information back to the fore. They draw a blank.
So, we provide a warm up to help them focus on the current subject of study.
When planning warm ups, remember that we are trying to jog their memories, not assess what they learned the day or weeks before.
In that light, warm ups should
- Only take a few minutes
- Help them re-access material previously taught
- Help them engage their minds, focus
- Provide clues
Examples of warm ups might be
- Yesterday we talked about why people came to America from Europe. In two sentences write what you remember about the reasons people came to America. You can ask a neighbor for help.
- Solve these five equations. (Provide equations that use operations they know and that lead up to today's process) Write out the steps. If you get stuck, ask a neighbor.
- Write two sentences that include context clues, hints about meaning, for words we studied this week (provide the vocabulary words and their meanings)
- In yesterday’s story, we learned that Sally turned down the opportunity to work at the drug store for the summer. What do you predict she will do, instead? Answer the question and give me at least two reasons for your prediction.
- In the baggy on your table are the scientific terms we have studied so far in this unit. Work in partners: each partner pulls out one term. Then, working together, partners come up with ways those two terms are connected. Record your connections. Do this three times. Be prepared to share.
Of course, at the beginning of the year, you might want to limit answers to one sentence or 3 equations. Then as students become more proficient at warming up, you can add to the requirements.
All set? Now try writing a couple of great, memory-jogging warm ups to use!