I'm thinking about dropping them. Granted, I've only done them for like 3 months but I'm frustrated. My actual problem is that I can't fit everything into a lesson I want to fit in. I want to:
i) have a discussion about a warm-up
ii) check and go over questions on the previous night's practice work/homework
(quick stat: 80-90% of my students do the homework on any given assignment)
iii) teach an interesting lesson/investigation/experiment/whatever
iv) and to top it all off, have students complete an exit ticket
As it turns out, that's too much to pack into one day.
I talked this out with one of our district middle school math coaches (Dan Greenberg) yesterday. He's like a ninja-math-education-guru. It's awesome. After turning my questions back on themselves several times, he helped me figure out that warm-ups are the least productive of the options I want to pursue. Rather than trying to spiral in old ideas, or bring up Visual Patterns, or Which Ones Don't Belong, or whatever other good 'extra' things I want to do in a day, maybe I could use problems from the previous night's homework as a launch for group discussions. It would help students see the value in doing the homework. It would be a natural tie in of the previous day's work to what we would be looking at today. And it would help me better understand what my students do and don't understand about what I'm attempting to teach. Those other things are totally cool, I simply need to plan time for them rather than trying to shove them into an already full plan for a day.
So, I'm thinking about letting something good go. I spent days pulling together what I believe is an all-star cast of warm-ups to use in Algebra 1 this year. It's hard.