What Are “Do Now Activities” and How They Benefit the Children
Have you ever come to class, and children are just plain chaotic? If yes, then you might benefit from “Do Now Activities.”
Teachers come to class with the purpose of getting their students’ attention all the time. So, you have to step up and set the tone first with Do Now Activities.
What Are Do Now Activities?
Do Now Activities, also referred to as Do It Now, are activities students have to do as soon as they enter the class. Teachers who do these activities engage the students in a warm-up before the start of lessons.
Basically, Do Now Activities are simple and quick activities that students can do. It is either done independently or collaboratively with other kids. These activities usually do not involve any guidance from the teacher. But if guidance is needed, it is mostly very minimal.
The activity for the day is usually written on the board. This way, students can see it as soon as they enter the classroom. Even if the teacher is busy, students settle themselves once they see a Do Now Activity.
Sometimes you might need a few minutes to concentrate on other kids. Check out our article, Take Apart Toys for Toddlers – Perfect Gift to Keep Them Occupied for some free time.
Purpose of Do Now Activities
According to Jane Werry, there are two primary purposes of Do Now Activities:
Settle the Class
The nature of a Do Now Activity is to keep the students occupied with something as soon as they enter the class. This helps settle an otherwise chaotic class.
Once students enter the classroom, they should not think of what they should be doing. Instead, they should develop a habit of checking the Do Now Activity that you have prepared for them.
Do Now Activities also allow you to better manage students at the beginning of the class. For example, when teachers are checking attendance, most students will chatter.
But what if there’s a Do Now Activity? You can maximize the time by checking the attendance as the students complete the activity you set. It is classroom management at its finest.
Provide Meaningful Thinking and Learning
Another purpose (and benefit) of Do Now Activities is to jump-start the students’ thinking skills. Do Now Activities are usually made in relation to the day’s lesson or perhaps as a way to reminisce the previous one.
This helps students think and refresh their memories. Depending on the Do Now Activity, teachers can use this to gauge what the students know on a topic.
Benefits of Do Now Activities for Children
Children’s participation is crucial for lessons to be successful. Learning has and should always be a two-way process. Though teachers share knowledge, it is a lost cause if kids do not participate actively.
These activities allow teachers to direct the kids to take part as soon as they enter the classroom, forming a productive classroom routine.
If successfully established, every Do Now Activity can entice the children. They will always anticipate what the teacher prepares for them to kickstart the day. This sense of enthusiasm can go a long way all throughout the day’s lesson.
Fun for the classroom and at home. Please take a look at our article Microscope Activities for Kids – Fun Experiments Kids Will Love!
Keep Children Motivated
Any set activity should motivate the children. Whether it is a written activity, task cards, conversation starter, or a game, it should increase their motivation to achieve a particular goal. Make sure that your Do Now Activities are not dull.
Otherwise, children will feel the slump even before the class begins. A great activity acts as a management tool to help motivate the entire class to participate and learn.
Do Now Activities that require a class to participate verbally can encourage children to speak up. Kids who do not speak during class lessons may be more motivated to join in these creative activities.
How you structure the activities also make or break the deal. Some educators would ask for volunteers to lead a Do Now Activity. Hence, you do not only motivate them to take part in the day’s lessons, but you also motivate them to become future leaders as well.
To go further in this, Parenting For The Brain has a good article on keeping kids motivated.
Stimulate Strategy and Eagerness
Children can develop their own strategies to complete an activity. As a teacher, however, you need to choose the activity carefully. Will it be a written activity? A practical one? Should it be related to your lesson today, prior knowledge, or a rehash of the last lesson? Or maybe it is entirely unrelated to academics?
Whatever activity you choose, just make sure that it helps children think independently. Once you leave children with activities, you will know how eager they are to complete such tasks.
It is in children’s nature to please adults. You will be surprised at how eager they are at developing their own strategies. They use the strategies to complete what you have assigned them to do.
Can Help Improve Memory
Do Now Activities can help increase the children’s memory about relevant topics. Whatever your activity is, students can keep a part of it on their minds. Do Now Activities need to be structured carefully as well.
Activities should take 3 to 5 minutes. Most teachers plan activities that relate to their lessons. It gives teachers a way to check the children’s knowledge about a topic yet to be discussed. But, it can also serve as a review of past lessons to see how well the children keep what they have learned before.
Encourage Students to Work Independently and Collaboratively
Since the activities are done independently or collaboratively, it allows children to function alone and in a team. Independent activities give them the chance to prove that they can do well on their own.
It further enhances their self-esteem that they can finish a task by themselves. Meanwhile, collaborative activities encourage teamwork among children.
These activities teach children how to become effective and efficient team members. This early training is also beneficial in the future as they deal with real-life issues. So whether you plan an independent or team activity, it assures a notable effect on every child in the class.
Do Now Activities provide many benefits to children as well as teachers. As long as you plan the best activity, you can accomplish all the benefits it has to offer.
Children love to learn. But it is dependent on the teacher’s ability to encourage them to study.
Need more classroom ideas? In our article, 7 Best Sphero Activities in the Classroom (for Every Subject!) We go over everything you can do with the Sphero coding robot.