Classroom Management Part 8: Do Nows!

I know… What could do nows possibly have to do with classroom management right? Everything actually…

Bitmoji ImageWHY Do Nows?

Do nows, otherwise known as bell work, otherwise known as warm up work, are very important to my entry routine which is essential to how I start my class on the right foot every day. Below, I have outlined the many different reasons why do nows support my entry routine:

  1. Do nows allow for every student to enter the room swiftly safely and silently- I setup the expectation at the beginning of the year that students enter the room swiftly safely and silently and they are able to do this because there is an expectation of them when they enter, that they grab their binder and start their do now which is posted on the board. With huge classes, if they were told to enter silently, and get seated but then there was nothing for them to “do” afterwards, of COURSE they’ll start speaking before everyone else has entered, and YOU would too.
  2. Do nows allow for every student to feel competent and successful to start the class– The purpose of a do now is NOT to stump students. I like reviewing information taught the previous day in the do now. EVERY student should be able to complete the work with no help from me. If it is too challenging they’ll be confused, have questions and feel shut down to start the class. If it is something they can do easily, they feel successful from the start!
  3. Do nows allow for me to greet EVERY student at the door and “see” them before class begins- I do a password when students come in the door. It is not at all about the password. I always choose something SUPER simple for that too. (and actually only two of my classes are doing a password right now…other classes aren’t ready for that addition to their routine so they just pass me at the threshold… so I can still “check in” ) It is more about “seeing” my students and them feeling like I am checking in every day. I can tell in an instant if a student is “off” or having a rough day, just by their demeanor, posture, and reaction to me at the door. The “do now” allows me this check in time because students who have already entered are “doing” something
  4. Do nows allow me to quickly review the content taught the day before: Students who were not in attendance the previous day, attempt to do the do now and if they can’t they write “I was not here yesterday” (at first in English and then I explain later on how to write that in Spanish once they’ve been exposed to the language enough). After 3-4 minutes I ask several students to share what they wrote for their do now. THEY feel successful, and we also have time to start with input from the day before to review!
  5. Do nows allow for a calm and quiet start to class: Students know what to expect. It is the same routine every single day. They know that immediately after a do now, everything (EVERYTHING) gets put under their chair and we start with the “input” of the day.
  6. Do nows allow ME to feel prepped, adjusted, and ready to start another class: I teach 6 classes per day. 30-32 students per class. Some classes have 0 minutes transition time. Literally, one class ends at 9:33 and the next class STARTS at 9:33. Do now time allows me to get into a better head space, observe who is in the class, take a peek at the agenda, recall what the plan is, and ease into class, POISED, and calm.

What should we CALL the DO NOW?

Personally, I call it the “al entrar” but here is a post on the iFLT/NTPRS/CI page on Facebook where people give their various titles for it. It is the second post on the page by Melanie Tupaj, there are 83 comments.

Where should they complete these DO NOWs?

I have students complete their do now in their binders. The first section in their binder is “al entrar”. They keep papers like this one in there and it fits enough for two weeks worth of do nows.

What are some examples of DO NOWs?

Well the possibilities are really endless. What is absolutely essential though, is that EVERY student can complete the do now successfully without coming and asking you questions. You need to be able to greet students at the door (password or not), then adjust yourself mentally, and get “set” for this class. Students need to feel successful doing this on their own. Here are some examples of Do Nows I’ve given in the past (notice, Do nows, in English are ok too, if it is on topic!)

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So there you have it! Another important piece to my classroom management system! 🙂 Another routine that I can’t imagine teaching without!

Just came back from ACTFL19 in DC and I am SO tired and SO grateful for a week off with my family! Grateful for this blogging time while my handsome boy sleeps! 🙂

Much love to all of you! and until next time,



La Maestra Loca



  1. Gracias maestra!!! Love the examples. I’ve been using your Al Entrar sheet this year and I love it! Def notice I tend to make them too challenging sometimes so that only my higher students feel comfortable completing it. I need to work on my scaffolding! Te amo !!!!

  2. This is a response to your most recent post and not this one about classroom management (although I am eternally grateful for this post because it was just what in needed to reflect on over our thanksgiving break!). I am not a native speaker. My mom is Puerto Rican but was raised around the world and felt more of an affinity for English. When I was born she spoke to me in Spanish for a few months and then also realized it did not feel natural and it was not as well received then as it would be now. She gave up. And while I never will blame her for it, I was utterly determined to speak Spanish to my child. I understand everything you are saying! It WAS so hard and felt very unnatural at times. I taught myself lullabies, I used word reference regularly because there are so many words and phrases you don’t use as a Spanish teacher that you need to use with your baby!!!! It felt like an uphill battle a lot of the time… but by some miracle I persevered and now my little girl finds it strange when I speak to she in English! It has somehow become our normal and our natural even when I know I am using circumlocution and making grammatical errors that she may end up naturalizing!!! However, your blog was absolutely beautiful to read. I don’t think anyone (other than my own mother) understood what a challenge it was for me. Everyone expected it from me, including my husband, and I would have felt like I was letting so many down if I hadn’t been able to sustain it. And that really is not fair. Motherhood is so much different than any of us ever anticipate going into it, and there are so many things we do differently as mothers than we expected to do as expectant mothers!!! The list is infinite! Nursing, introducing solids, discipline, sleep training, screen time…. it goes on and on and on. Add this to the million things we worry about, and beat ourselves up about each day and it is just too much! I am so proud of you for accepting what was right for you as a mommy and for sharing it with your community! Many a momma needed to hear this (and it may not strike a cord with them as far as languages go, but it will in some other decision they have taken as a mommy that they were still searching for validation for).

    Now, for some tips that you may or may not find helpful. I have taught toddlers at my school and they do not have any idea that I am speaking a different language during my class. It is truly beautiful! I conduct a full circle time in Spanish and they don’t bat an eyelid. If you are going to allow baby loco to watch TV or little baby bum songs etc. just make all screen time be Spanish. Netflix and YouTube make this so easy and he will never know the difference! Sesame Street: watch it in Spanish. Little baby bum songs and nursery rhymes all in Spanish! He won’t know any different for a few years and it will open up all sorts of his little baby brain synapses for language! So easy! I am not saying let him watch tv all day. But if he is watching tv, try to ensure it is In Spanish!

    At bed time I always read one book in English and one on Spanish. It was easy with the super baby books that I could translate easily. As she got early I built a Spanish book library (also to avoid confusion as she starts to pay attention to letters and words).

    Incorporate one Spanish lullaby into your night time ritual. Just hearing one lullaby can do wonders for his adapting the pronunciation and there will be a beautiful connection between language and mommy.

    That’s it! Oh, and subscribe to Spanish mama. She has a fantastic blog and a huge network of mommies raising their babies bilingual or partially bilingual. It is a nice community to be a part of.

    Like I said, you may have no interest in using any of this, but I wanted to share because they were things outside of your verbal relationship with your baby that you might want to incorporate! No pressure and no judgement! We are all doing the very best that we can and need to make the best decision for ourselves and our babies! That is what being a mommy is, and I am still so confused at moms who don’t get this and continue to cast judgement. This is the hardest (and most wonderful) job in the whole wide world and we need to support each other!

    Love and hugs to you and so much gratitude for sharing your ideas and your life with us! I appreciate you so very much!

  3. This may be a silly question but do you have any of your “al entrar” slides as a product on TpT or elsewhere? Although I love the ideas, I also don’t like having to re-invent the wheel. I understand that some of warmups are customized to what your class is doing but many of them can also be used any time so it would be great to have them already done or even to just have a blank template already made that could be tweaked/edited appropriately.

  4. This may be a silly question but do you have any of your “al entrar” slides as a product on TpT or elsewhere? Although I love the ideas, I also don’t like having to re-invent the wheel. I understand that some of warmups are customized to what your class is doing but many of them can also be used any time so it would be great to have them already done or even to just have a blank template already made that could be tweaked/edited appropriately.

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