Start with a "Do Now"
Lesson Objective: Begin class with an introductory activity
Grades 6-12 / All Subjects / Structure

Thought starters

  1. What makes an effective "Do Now" activity?
  2. How does this strategy increase classroom efficiency?
  3. What is the relationship between routines and classroom management?
62 Comments
  1. What makes an effective "Do Now" activity?

An effective “Do Now” activity is something that relates to content students have already learned but also leads into content they are about to learn. It is also an activity that students can do independently with no extra instruction from the teacher.

  1. How does this strategy increase classroom efficiency?

The strategy of having students work on a “Do Now” activity as soon as they come in the classroom gives students a sense of routine that sets the tone for the class. They will know that they are expected to come in, work, and stay on task. They will know that what they work on first thing will be something at which they can likely be successful because it will build upon things they have already learned. They will be prepared to “get in the zone” for class as soon as they enter the room.

  1. What is the relationship between routines and classroom management?

Routines give students a sense of stability and predictability that is conducive to positive behavior. When students already know what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it, it enables them to succeed behaviorally and eliminates many opportunities for off-task or disruptive behavior. With routines and procedures in place, the teacher can move beyond classroom correction to classroom management of a group of students who function as a well-oiled learning machine.

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1. An effective "Do Now" activity is any activity you assign to your students as they walk into your classroom. This activity should tie into what they learned the day before and what they will be learning today. A short quiz is an effective "Do Now."

2. This strategy increases classroom efficency because it helps set the tone in the classroom from the very beginning. The students know what is expected of them if you use this strategy.

3. Routines help you manage your classroom. If you never set routines from the very beginning students will not know what is expected of them, and you will have poor classroom management. 

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The "Do Now' is a great way to keep students focused from the beginning of class as well as a quick review of what they have been studying and setting them up for the days lesson.
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"Do Now" reminds me of a "Bell Ringer" that I had in school. It gets the brain focused and allows some insight of today's lesson. It is great with classroom management also.
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The Do Now assignment is an effective way to establish a routine and prevent idle time at the beginning of class (which is when many students get off task or get into trouble). I think it’s an effective strategy for classroom management.
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Transcripts

  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: Okay, here we go. You’re gonna walk in the classroom quickly and quietly. I will hand you

    [00:00]
    Interviewer: Okay, here we go. You’re gonna walk in the classroom quickly and quietly. I will hand you your do-now, instructions are on the board. Are there any questions before we get started.

    A do now is any activity that you have at the very beginning of class that helps you set the tone for that day.

    Quickly, quietly, get started right away. Go ahead and get started right now on your do-now.

    Kids come in and have something to do when they get to their desk. That something to do should go back to what they’ve worked on before, and lead into what they’re gonna work on next. Often it’s really good to put the instructions for the do-now up on the board, so you don’t even have to say that much. They can just read them, and start following the directions.

    Then instead of having to talk to a lot of kids, we can just say, “I really like the way you got started, now go ahead and work on number two.” They read it, and then you can move on.

    Yeah, do it on the back of it. That cool? You know what to do right?

    Interviewee: Yeah.

    Interviewer: I’ve seen teachers that do do-nows as quick quizzes at the beginning of everyday. I’ve seen teachers that do a few old questions that they want to work on. It could be a reading passage that the kids have been working on. Ideally, something that’s gonna lead you directly into that day’s lesson.

    I see Chartanay 01:20 is starting to add to find the average of her numbers.

    The other great thing about a do-now is it’s really excellent technique for classroom management.

    I see the middle row is completely engaged in what they’re working on.

    It helps you to set the expectations from the very beginning of your class period. So a kid walks into your classroom, they know, “I’m gonna walk in. I’m gonna get my stuff out, and there’s work for me to do.” The hardest part of a teacher’s day is constantly getting kids back on task, getting your students back doing the work you want them to do, that’s the hard part.

    All right, you have about two minutes to finish your do-now, stay focused, stay on task.

    The best thing about a do-now is we start to work right away, and now I’m keeping you on task as opposed to getting you back on task.

    Are there any questions? Okay, back to work.

    [End of Audio]

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