Students hustled to their seats, fearful that they will be the last one and get called out in front of their peers. On their desks, they find their first bright white daily warm up of the year. I wait silently in the corner for the magic to happen, but instead, students just ignore the paper and start chatting with friends. This was the moment that my principal walked in. I felt flush with emotion, but mostly I was mortified.
My first year teaching using a daily warm up was pretty worthless. We were using a daily warm up that didn’t seem to fit the needs of my students at all, and it was a waste of time to be honest. I didn’t take the time to set my expectations, and I certainly didn’t show them I valued it. I did it because I was told that I had to, not because it had any benefit for my students. It was the worst.
Using a daily warm up in the classroom can be a wonderful thing, but they can also be a real pain. Constantly making sure copies are made, students are engaged, and ensuring that the time is well used can really put a strain on a teacher.
Then I started to think of daily warm ups as an integral part of our day. When I placed importance on them, and used them consistently my students saw their value as well. I quickly determined a few key benefits of using a daily warm up that I wish someone would have told me on day one.
They Provide Focus and Structure
They Start Conversations and Spark Interests
They Are Like a Time Capsule
Pro Tips for a Successful Daily Warm Up
- Get Organized-
I prefer to print and bind (usually in a bradded folder) a year of warm ups before school even starts. It means simply it is one thing less I have to do during the crazy times. This also means that I won’t be struggling for content throughout the year.
I have also printed one copy of a warm up to use with the projector. This saves paper because students complete warm ups in their journals. This works too!
The moral of this story is to make sure you have your whole year’s worth of warm ups covered. This way you are not running around like crazy looking for daily content!
- Value the Time-
Warm ups are worth it and should be treated as such. You should value you the time, even if it isn’t long.
- Structure, Structure, Structure
Take the time up front to show students your expectations. I find it best to do the first week (or two) together. This shows students that again, this time is valuable and worth it.
Ready to Get Your Daily Warm Up On?
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