Here are a few possible ideas:
-play a song. It's a great way to introduce your students to different types of music and set a mood for your classroom whether you choose classical, oldies, rock & roll, etc. Or all of the above.
-solve a problem. There are oodles of riddles available to get those teenaged brains thinking.
example: A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, 'I can't operate on this boy - for he is my son!!! How can this possibly be?
(The surgeon is his mother)
-share a cartoon. Laughter (or groaning) works wonders.
-writing prompt. Have students write a quick story based on a picture or a challenge such as- "End your story with this sentence: Despite a few fatalities, everyone agreed that Mindy’s first cookout was a roaring success."
Or finish a sentence: "If I had a million dollars I would..."
-Etiquette Tip. One thing I did to start each day was share an Etiquette Tip each day. Our class topics were so varied throughout the semester (finance, relationships, nutrition, careers, sewing, etc.) that it would take me decades to collect resources for a bell ringer to go with the lesson of the day. I truly believe that everyone needs to learn better manners and so my Etiquette Tip of the day was born. The students recorded it on a chart each day which were kept in their folder. Some days they would just write it and we would quickly move on to the lesson for the day. Other times we focused on it for a few minutes. When the tip was: "Write and send a thank you note as quickly as possible- within a day or two. (BUT- a late thank you note is better than no thank you note)" I would have to students write a thank you note to a staff member in the school. I would deliver them- after reading them as there always seems to be one or 2 students that are too cool for a sincere thank you. It gave the staff a boost and helped students develop an attitude of gratitude.
113 different Etiquette Tips to start each class are available for purchase in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Or my Etsy shop.
Do you do a bell ringer/warm up to start (or maybe end) your class?
What do you call it? Bell ringer? Warm Up? Something else?