Chem Thoughts – 30 Chemistry Bell Ringers to Promote Scientific Thinking and Writing

During one of our Teacher Based Teams meetings, one of our Chemistry teachers (who is also our science department head, honors teachers, and mentor teacher) had left up a slide she was using for her students to begin class. As they entered the room, one slide was projected on the Smartboard. The students would be getting out their Chromebooks, logging in, the teacher was doing attendance. The students would begin answering the question in their science journals.



This prompt could be used to talk about properties of matter, qualitative measurements, the scientific method, or any others that students can come up with. It promotes higher order thinking, and gets students thinking in a fun, academic way.

Another example:


While not specifically standards-based, they can lead to thoughtful student conversations, and increased science writing.

If used in Google Classroom, Chem Thoughts could be posted as a Question:


And then collaborated on by the entire class:


Or if you’d prefer to have a conversation after independent writing, keeping this in students’ individual journals might work better.

This is also useful as a “quick and dirty” formative assessment. Responses could be analyzed for complexity or vocabulary usage. Responses could also indicate understanding of the previous night’s work, or be used for flexible grouping. I also like to use a shared Google Classroom Document with a table, where each student has their name in one column, and a cell for a response in another column. After students write their answers on their own document, they can then copy and paste into the shared document at the same time. The teacher can then get an immediate picture of where the class is at.

Here are the Chem Thoughts Bell Ringers for the First Quarter, and here are the Chem Thoughts Bell Ringers for the Second Quarter.

Here are some fun Chem Thoughts that I found on Pinterest.

Happy thinking!

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