What 1st Grade Reading Books Are Available Online?

Reading is important for kids of all ages, whether they’re reading on their own or hearing stories from teachers, parents and the other adults in their lives. It’s especially important for first graders because they’re still learning language, and reading helps them understand the sounds and patterns words make.

You can shop for books in stores, check them out from libraries and even buy them online, but you can also find free or inexpensive digital books for kids online. Reading them is as easy as visiting one of these websites. Some may require a membership signup, but for most of them, you can go straight to the link and start reading.

Wilbooks offers free digital books for kids ages pre-K through third grade and reading levels A through M. You can also sort their books by collection or series. For example, there are books that are Common Core-approved, Spanish language books, joke books, alphabet books and more.

Many of the books are free to read online. However, for a monthly fee or annual subscription, you can receive physical books in the mail and access educational printables. Individual, school and classroom accounts are all available. If you want to stick to the dozens of free books available, click on the one you like, and it will appear in a pop-up window. Once it does, you can start reading.

At FunBrain , you’ll find a selection of books for elementary and middle grades, including some of the popular books and series that kids love the most. Look for titles like Judy Moody , Diary of a Wimpy Kid , Smashie McPerter , Amelia , Stink and more. Each title gives a suggested grade level range.

However, if you’re reading with your child, you may find that you want to work your way through all of the books, even the ones for older kids. The FunBrain site also has games for kids of ages and videos like Kidz Bop , Teen Titans Go! and Highlights Kids . It also has informative videos on topics like getting along with siblings or dealing with bullies. The site even has a section on math.

Created by Oxford University Press, Oxford Owl offers a free site for parents and children to use at home, as well as a membership version for teachers and schools. The home version offers a free eBook library for kids ages 3 to 11, including both fiction and nonfiction.

You can also browse by series or Oxford Reading Level. Beyond books, the Oxford Owl site offers a blog with advice for parents and kids on topics like summer reading and what to expect when school starts. There are math games and phonics guides, and you’ll find a selection of activities to do at home, sorted by age and grade level.

Storyline Online

One of the most well-known sites where you’ll find free online books for kids is Storyline Online . It’s won several awards, including an Emmy, and it’s been endorsed by the American Library Association.

The site is filled with some of the most popular kids’ books, and rather than read them yourself, you can watch a video of a celebrity like Kevin Costner, Eva Longoria or Betty White read them to you. Each book has its own activity guide, and you can buy the books from the site if you’d like to own a physical copy.

International Children’s Digital Library

The International Children’s Digital Library has one of the biggest selections of kids’ books online. Choose from more than 4,000 titles in approximately 60 languages. You can narrow the selections down by age, length of book, topic and other categories.

You can even search for books that are from each continent. If you sign up for a free account, you can create a virtual bookshelf with your child’s favorites so that you can find them easily when you want.

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activities for 1st grade students

50 classroom activities for 1st grade

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Mar 18, 2020 4:51:50 PM

This blog shares ideas for using Wixie to meet standards and learning goals with first graders, whether they are learning at school or at home. Select the image for each idea or use the text link to open a template you can assign as a teacher, or use as a student, immediately.

If your child uses Wixie at school, they can log in at home to create and share their learning through a combination of text, images, and voice narration! Your child's teacher may even be suggesting activities by assigning templates that will show at the top of your child's Wixie home page. (If your child doesn't have Wixie, sign up for a free trial account you can use for 90-days.)

Find more ideas, samples, and lessons for first grade at: https://static.wixie.com/edu/first-grade

1. Create a digital greeting

Have your students use one of their drawings or art work in Wixie to create a digital card by using the microphone tool to record a message. Copy the URL at the top of the Wixie page and email/text to share it. ( template )

2. Create a scratch art picture

Use the eraser tool in Wixie to create a scratch art picture. If you are studying seasons, make an image of spring. Original scratch art also makes a great image for a digital greeting (see above). 

Search "scratch" for a range of scratch art activities. Use a template like spring or flowers and erase to create a spring design. ( template )


3. Learn about artist Piet Mondrian and color in his style

Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, is best known for his work that used primary colors, white and black in simplified lines and shapes on canvas. Visit the Tate Museum's page about Mondrian with your child to learn about this artist and his work.

Then use the Mondrian Coloring page in Wixie to create your own version. To find it, search "Mondrian" at your student or teacher Wixie home page. ( template )

sample Wixie Mondrian-style art

If your students are ready to create in Mondrian's style, ask them to draw an animal and color it like a Mondrian.

You can also use Mondrian's technique to explore color and shape words and practice counting in the Mondrian Math lesson plan .

4. Read a story and compare yourself to the main character

Have students read a book independently or share a book with the class. Search "compare" in Wixie and open the "Main Character and Me" Venn diagram template. ( template )

Add text, pictures and voice narration to show how you are similar and different from the main character. Think about:

  • I look like...


5. Create a collage

Add images to a blank Wixie page to represent something. For example, you could represent events in story or your day or even things you see during a particular season.


Try these ideas with Wixie

Give these activities a try with your students for free for 90 days.

6. Explore antonyms

Explore antonyms with your students. Read Dr. Seuss's The Foot Book and create a list of antonyms with your child. You can start them off with things like hot/cold, high/low.

Have students create a page in Wixie that illustrates an antonym pair. Use the microphone tool to record their explanation.


Step-by-step directions for creating antonyms in Wixie

7. Go on a shape hunt

Read a book like The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss. Then, have students walk around the school or home and find shapes, like rectangles and triangles, or even cylinders and spheres. 

Use the Image button and Camera tab to capture the shapes you find and add them to Wixie. Search "3D" for a book template. ( template )


Explore a Seeing Shapes lesson plan

8. Make a wish

Search for "wish" at your Wixie home page and open the My Wish activity. Use the Image button and Camera tab to capture a photo of yourself blowing out a dandelion. Select the circle shape below the tools to change it from a rectangle to an oval. Type your wish in the bubble. ( template )


9. Take a 5-senses walk

Go outside and walk around your yard or neighborhood. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, or taste? When you come back inside, search Wixie for "observation" and open the 5 Senses Observation template. Add text or pictures to show what you observed for each sense. ( template )


10. Share learning about community helpers with a sentence strip

Now more than ever community helpers are essential to the health and success of our world. Have students share what they have learned about a community helper by drawing a picture and writing a sentence. ( template )


Students can use the microphone tool to record how they feel this job is important. If you know someone who works in that field, share the project with them to show your appreciation!

11. Use virtual manipulatives

Math manipulatives provide a tangible way to help students see and grasp the nature of numbers and procedures. Search Wixie for "base ten" to find a range of templates that use base ten blocks to help students visualize place value. ( template )


More ideas for using Wixie's library of virtual manipulatives for math

12. Explore life cycles

As changes in the seasons become more visible, get students thinking about cycles in nature. Search "cycle" to find templates in Wixie, paint your own, or even tell a cycle story . ( template )


13.  Send a virtual high five

Show your appreciation for others with a virtual high-five. Has a friend connected on a regular basis, did you meet a friendly new neighbor, open something fun from your grandparents?

Search "five" in Wixie, add text or voice narration to show your appreciation and decorate with paint and images. Copy the project URL to share digitally via email. ( template )


14. Reading comprehension: character and setting

After students read a book or you share a book with the class, use the New button to start a new Wixie project. Use the paint tools to draw the main character in a setting from the story. Use the Microphone tool to record a description. ( template )


15. Simple surveys and great graphs

Survey your friends, family members, and neighbors about a favorite book, sport, food, game, or at-home activity. Collect your survey findings using tally marks to practice counting. ( template )


Explore a Simple Surveys and Great Graphs lesson plan.

To celebrate your favorite book, work as a class to create a new version of your favorite picture book. Explore the Curriculum>Language Arts>Reading>Literature folder for sample templates or check out these ideas for book adaptations .

Have each student create a single page and then use the Import Pages feature in Wixie to collect them into a single class book. Share the URL with families, export as a PDF or eBook, or embed on your classroom web site.

17. Make a map

To help students build map reading skills, have them go outside their home (with the help of a parent) and figure out which direction is north, south, east, and west. ( template )


Assign the "By My House" template in Wixie and ask students to create a map that shows important places in their neighborhood and where they are in relation to their home.

18. Decorate an Easter Egg

Wixie includes seasonal activities in the Curriculum>Month-by-Month folder. Open the April folder and the Paint an Easter Egg activity and have your child decorate using Wixie's paint tools. ( template )


Print the file, cut out the eggs, and use as Easter decorations. You can even write notes on the back and hide around your home for an egg hunt or give to a friend as an Easter greeting card.

19. Capture reading fluency

Capture student fluency using the recording tool and Wixie templates with prose and poetry passages for grades K-3.

Log in and search "fluency" or browse Curriculum>Language Arts>Reading>Fluency for passages from The Secret Garden ( template ) and the poem, "As I was going to St. Ives." ( template ). 


20. Counting and value with Roman numerals

When students start to get the hang of how to decompose numbers 11–19 into tens and ones, challenge them to add in fives as well with roman numerals. Not quite the visual aid of base ten blocks, and will help them bridge the concrete with the abstract representations of numbers.

Search "roman numeral" in Wixie to find a template like this one, or take advantage of the Roman Numeral folder in the Math collection in Wixie's image library. ( template )


Math is fun has a great page on the rules of writing Roman numerals, but remember in this activity, you are looking to assess understanding of value, so for comprehension IX could also be VIIII.

21. Review and rate a book

Have learners write a review of a recent book they have read. Share with friends and other students to give them ideas for new titles they can read to help keep them from getting bored at home in quarantine! ( template )


Explore a Five-Star Book Review lesson plan.

Explore more creative book review ideas .

22. Write your name in hieroglyphics

Many first graders can associate the ancient Egyptians with pyramids, mummies, and even hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics were pictures used as a form of writing, representing words, ideas, and even sounds. Students can work with hieroglyph sounds in Wixie using the Hieroglyphics Alphabet library. ( template )


Search for "cartouche" (the Egyptian symbol that went around hieroglyphs to show they represented a name) at your Wixie home page to find and open an activity that asks students to write their name with these symbols. When they select the Image button in Wixie, the Stickers library opens directly to the hieroglyphic alphabet.

Learn how to choose a specific clip art library to show for a Wixie activity

23. Play with patterns

Learning how to identify and create patterns like ABA or ABBA helps build foundations for future math, even algebra! Wixie includes several activities for building and practicing visual patterns. You can also have your child draw a pattern or use images added to a blank page. ( template )


24. Identify character traits

Ask your young learners to recall and retell key details about a character in a book you are reading. Search "trait" in Wixie to have them draw a picture of the character and type or record words about the character's physical traits, feelings, and actions. ( template )


Find more ideas for character trait projects and step-by-step directions

25. Tell a tangram story

A tangram is a Chinese puzzle made from a square cut into seven different shapes, called tans. You use these shapes to make the square, as well as a range of other shapes.

At your Wixie home page, search "tangram" and open the Tangram Story file. Have your child use the pieces in the tangram to make their own composite shape and tell the story of the happy square. ( template )

26. Record your positive actions

What did you do for the environment on Earth Day? Draw a picture, write a sentence and record yourself in Wixie! You can also use Wixie to create a poster to inform others about environmental issues. ( template )


27. Observe with a new perspective

So much of what we see about our world depends on our perspective. While young students are still working to show what they observe through their sense of sight, they can practice taking someone else's perspective in a fun project like sharing a view of the world from the eyes of an insect. ( template )


You can also ask them to complete an empathy map and then write a story about a day in the life of an insect or a letter to one of their insect friends.

28. Draw your own Tree for Arbor Day

Gustav Klimt's "Tree of Life" is one of his most recognizable paintings. Search "Klimt" in Wixie and use the Eraser tool to create your own Klimt-style tree using a scratch art-style template. ( template )


Scratch art drawing in Wixie is done with the Eraser tool, not the paint brush!  

29. Write a 5 senses poem

In addition to reinforcing scientific observation, engaging the five senses is a great way to help young learners add description to their writing and practice vocabulary. Assign the "5 Senses Poem" template to make it easier to add ideas textually, or remove the text boxes and have them record their ideas. ( template )


If your learners would benefit from a little direction, provide a specific topic for their poem.

30. Jungle Gym Geometry

Design your own jungle gym using shapes! Search" Jungle Gym Geometry" in Wixie to find a multi-page template focusing on both identifying specific two-dimensional shapes and creating a large composite shape for a jungle gym design. ( template )


Read more about this lesson to learn about specific standards addressed and skills needed.

31. Make words

How many words can you make from the word: rainbow? Search "rainbow" at your Wixie home page, or browse the Curriculum>Month-by-Month> folders to find seasonal word templates. Drag the letters from the word at the top to make new words in the space at the bottom. ( template )


You can find more "make words" activities by browsing Curriculum>Language Arts>Word Play

32. What if you could be going places?

Call or video chat with someone who lives far away or read about a new place to learn about the weather and culture in that location.  Use a "Going Places" template in Wixie to show the weather, what you would pack to wear, and what you would do in that location.  ( template )


33. Share data with a glyph

Like hieroglyphics, glyphs use pictures to represent information. Glyphs are a great way to get young learners to follow directions and play with how data can be displayed. Search for "butterfly glyph" in Wixie to find a template students can use to share information about how they spent their week by adding symbols to a butterfly's wings. Be sure they use the record button to explain their work. ( template )


34. Create a thank you card for your teacher

Send your teacher a digital thank you for Teacher Appreciation Day! Start a blank Wixie page and use the paint tools to create an original drawing. You can also use the image button and camera option to capture your picture! ( template )

Use the microphone tool to record your voice and let your teacher know how much you appreciate (and miss!) them. They would really love to hear from you. 

35. Become flexible in your thinking about numbers

Number sense and computation are way more than memorizing addition facts. We want students to be powerful with numbers, see similarities between addition and subtraction and be flexible with their mathematical thinking.

Search for "add to" at your Wixie home page to find templates that challenge students to add to numbers between 9 and 19 a range of ways, with more than one right answer to each problem. ( template )

36. Write about your favorite relative

Practice opinion writing through a favorite relative project. Give structure to your emerging writers by asking them to state their opinion, share 2-3 reasons why, and finish with a concluding statement. Share students' work with their favorite relative. ( template )

Read more about this project on Creative Educator.

Explore a My Favorite Relative lesson plan

37. Adapt your favorite pattern story

Read one of your favorite pattern stories and create your own adaptation. Wixie includes templates for favorites like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, It Looked Like Spilt Milk ( template ), Cat in the Hat, and more. Use this list of titles to turn your emerging readers into writers !

Explore an Adapt a Pattern Story lesson plan.

38. Create memories for Mother's Day

If you haven't gotten your handmade Mother's Day gift ready, open a blank page in Wixie and draw a picture to create a printed card. Use the microphone tool to record a message and send as a digital greeting. ( template )


Explore more ideas for Mother's Day and Father's Day

39. Practice telling time by the hour and half-hour

Students in first grade are just learning to "tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks." Wixie includes a range of "tell time" templates ranging from concrete identify the time on the clock tasks to retelling time from stories like Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug ( template ).  


Students can also use the paint tools in Wixie to draw a picture and indicate the time of day by adding an analog or digital clock to the image. ( template )


40. Persuade for a pet

Humane Societies and Pet Rescues reported a record number of adoptions recently. Encourage your students to write a letter or create a presentation in Wixie to persuade their family to get a new pet, supporting their opinion with reasons and examples.

You can also search for "cluster" and "OREO" for graphic organizers to support research and thinking. ( template )


Explore a Persuade for a Pet lesson plan .

40. Write your own word problems

Visualizing word problems in Wixie by using the paint tools to draw models or by adding images from the media library can help students better identify key pieces of a problem and the relations between them. 

Get step-by-step directions and more ideas for getting started with word problems in Wixie.

41. Send a chalk art message

Search Wixie for "chalk" to find a template you can use to create a digital chalk art message. Export the image or copy the URL and send to a grandparent or share with an elderly neighbor who can't get outside. ( template )


42. Inform others

Even the youngest learners can inform others about the topics they are learning. Instead of struggling with writing or typing, have students use Wixie to simply add an image of the animal to a page and use the microphone tool to record to share information orally. Perfect for ELLs.

43. Create a digital word wall

Students can use the "word wall" template in Wixie to create their own word wall. Assign to each learner so they can add words they do not know from books they are reading or hearing. Have students look up the meaning in a dictionary or ask a parent or teacher to help them define and add a picture and even voice recording. ( template )


44. Create a class memory book

Use Wixie to create a memory book filled with each student’s favorite event from the school year. Have students use Wixie's image, text, and recording tools to create their page, combine them together into one file in your teacher account, and publish online, as PDF, or print. ( template )


45. Partition shapes

Search "partition" in Wixie to find a range of practice and play activities that ask students to "partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of." ( CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3 ) ( template )


46. Build a sand castle

Is it summer yet? In any case, it's time to build a sand castle. Search "castle" at the Wixie home page and drag the shapes to make a virtual sand castle. Great activity for learning to build composite shapes! ( template )


46. "Carve" your own petroglyph

Petroglyphs are objects carved into rock by prehistoric people. Search "petroglyph" at your Wixie home page to find a template. Assign to students and they can use the Eraser tool to "carve" their own petroglyph image. Use the microphone tool to tell the story of the rock art. ( template )


47. Explore length and measurement

In order to build foundations for future measurement, students need to understand that you "express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end." They also need to practice measuring with these smaller units so that they span the entire length with no space between.

Have students use pennies to measure small objects in their home, by lining them up alongside it. Search Wixie for "length" to find templates like this one to practice their skills. ( template )


This sort of activity helps students build the technology skills they need for future online testing.

48. Build foundations for scientific thinking

Encourage your students budding inquiry by using a modified approach to the scientific method. Search "inquiry" at the Wixie home page to find the Inquiry - Primary template. ( template )

Have students use it to draw pictures and describe how they learn about the world. The template guides them to begin with observation and hypotheses to progressing to thinking about how they can test their idea and then analyzing the results.

Inquiry - snails

50. Explore place value with hieroglyphics

The Ancient Egyptians counted with base ten as well, using sticks to represent 1 and a cow pen to represent 10.  These symbols make a great next step to moving from counting units to representing quantities with symbols, in other words, numbers!

Explore the Base Ten folder in Curriculum> Math> Numbers and Operations or search "hieroglyphics" to find templates you can use to help students practice. ( template )


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1st grade activities and games

by: The GreatSchools Editorial Team | Updated: December 13, 2022

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1st grade learning games and activities

Looking for some fun ways to help your child learn important skills while keeping busy? Try some of these fun, teacher-tested activities for 1st graders.

Fun learning games and activities for 1st graders

Create a personalized placemat, number sense, create a noisemaker, map that house, create a mummy, create a family memory book, feel the music, accordion book fun, keeping a journal, speed spelling, make your own wrapping paper, make a story map, does it sink or float, the “scents” of smell, letter collage, word family flip book, develop a mental image, make a pop-up book, food fractions, make a storytelling board, living things and nonliving objects, describe an object.

activities for 1st grade students

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30 Fun and Free First Grade Math Games and Activities

Teach them early on that math can be fun!

Collage of First Grade Math Games, including Shape Guess Who? and Addition Tic-Tac-Toe

Early elementary teachers have a chance to instill in their students a love of math right from the start. One great way to do that is to make math fun! These first grade math games cover all the standard skills firsties need to know , in ways that make learning engaging and enjoyable for all.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Wiggle to 100

Hundreds chart labeled Wiggle to 100, with number cards reading 10 + 7, a set of dice, and a card describing a physical activity to be completed

You’ve Got This Math/Wiggle to 100 via youvegotthismath.com

Many kids learn best when they move their bodies. In this simple game, they use number cards to make and solve addition or subtraction equations. Then they draw an action card, and complete the activity the same number of times as the answer to the problem.

Learn more: You’ve Got This Math

2. Play with place value pickup sticks

Wood craft sticks, some with 10 dots and some with one dot, and a printable worksheet labeled Place Value Pick Up Sticks, used for first grade math games

First Grade Wow/Place Value Pickup Sticks via firstgradewow.blogspot.com

Help students visualize place value with these DIY pickup sticks. Pick up a handful of sticks and drop them, then have kids organize them by tens and ones. Finally, determine what number the sticks represent.

Learn more: First Grade Wow

3. Measure and compare names

Poster with student names listed from shortest to longest, to help students understand non-standard measurment

Mrs. Richardson’s Class/Comparing Names via mrsrichardsonsclass.com

Here’s a fun way to teach non-standard measurement: Compare the lengths of student names! This is a great activity to try near the beginning of the year as kids get to know each other.

Learn more: Mrs. Richardson’s Class

4. Spin and draw the time

Spinner circle with various times in the wedges, and a paperclip spinner, plus a worksheet for drawing times on a clock face and a plastic toy clock

The Moffatt Girls/Spin and Draw Time via themoffattgirls.com

Kids love simple spinners, so use them for games that help them learn to tell time. After they spin a digital time, have them draw the correct hands on clock faces or create the time on a toy clock.

Learn more: The Moffatt Girls

5. Make a DIY shape Guess Who? game

Guess Who game board with 2D and 3D shapes in place of the faces, used for first grade math games

Life Between Summers/Shape Guess Who via lifebetweensummers.com

Switch up your old Guess Who? game with 2D and 3D shape cards instead. Kids will get practice using geometry terms like “vertices,” “edges,” “faces,” and more.

Learn more: Life Between Summers

6. Walk the plank to practice addition

Wooden paint stirrer stick divided into squares labeled with numbers from 10 to 20, with colored cubes next to each square and a pair of dice

Primarily Speaking/Walk the Plank via primarily-speaking.com

With a wooden paint stick, some math cubes, and a pair of number cubes, you can play a simple but fun first grade math game that helps kids learn addition in such an engaging way!

Learn more: Primarily Speaking

7. Assemble a domino puzzle

Set of dominos with printable worksheets for Domino Puzzle Addition Facts 0-6 (First Grade Math Games)

Games 4 Gains/Dominoes Math Puzzles via games4gains.com

Print the free puzzles at the link below. Then grab some dominoes and start filling in the puzzle one piece at a time by placing a domino that adds up to the number shown in each rectangle. The trick is that regular domino rules still apply, so each number must touch another domino with the same number on that end.

Learn more: Games 4 Gains

8. Play tic-tac-toe with addition problems

Tic-tac-toe boards with addition problems, filled in using bingo daubers

123 Homeschool 4 Me/Tic-Tac-Toe Math Game via 123homeschool4me.com

Work out the answer to each problem in the grid, and dot or circle the ones that add up to 10. First to get three in a row wins!

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Tic-Tac-Toe Math Game

9. Face off in Dice War

Pair of dice with a whiteboard with addition problems written on it, used by kids playing first grade math games

Miss Giraffe’s Class/Fact Fluency Dice via missgiraffesclass.blogspot.com

Dice games are fantastic in the classroom! With this one, kids practice their addition facts and get a little work with subitizing too. The concept is so simple: Each player rolls the dice and adds up their numbers. The highest sum wins that round. This is one of those first grade math games that can be expanded by adding a third die. (You can also use playing cards.)

Learn more: Miss Giraffe’s Class

10. Use sticky notes to make 10

Colorful sticky notes labeled with numbers, outside a circle with the text What Makes 10?

Life Over C’s/Make 10 Sticky Notes via lifeovercs.com

Sticky notes have so many uses in the classroom. In this case, challenge students to put together the numbered notes that “make 10.” They’ll practice adding to 10 with multiple numbers. You can also do this with subtraction, starting at 10, to make zero.

Learn more: Life Over C’s

11. Play Shut the Box

Wood box with hinged tiles numbered 1 to 9 and a pair of wooden dice, which can be used to play first grade math games

This game has been played for hundreds of years, but it’s a fun and sneaky way to practice addition facts fluency. The goal is to “close” each of the numbers in the box from one to nine by rolling the dice. For instance, if a player rolls 11, they may close 1, 2, 3, and 5, as these add up to 11. If no numbers are available to add up to the dice total, play passes to the next player and continues until someone finally “shuts the box” by closing the last available number. You can play this game with a specially designed box , as it has been played for years. You don’t need the box, though; simply have kids write out the numbers 1 through 9 and cross them out as they play.

12. Assemble some addition grab bags

Colorful paper bags filled with math cubes and plastic bears used for first grade math games, with a worksheet called Addition Grab Bags

Susan Jones Teaching/Addition Grab Bags via susanjonesteaching.com

Fill a variety of bags with collections of small objects. Kids grab a handful from two different bags, then count and add up the results. Be sure they write it all down to get practice at setting up equations. First grade math games like this one work for subtraction too.

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching/Grab Bags

13. Face off to find the difference

Stack of colorful base 10 cubes on a printable worksheet called Find the Difference Face Off

Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls/Face Off Math via frugalfun4boys.com

Each player rolls the dice (try polyhedral dice for higher numbers, or roll several dice and add them together) and builds a stack of math cubes . Then they “face off” and find the difference between their two stacks.

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

14. Plant flowers and count on

First grade math games using flower pots with playdough soil, filled with artificial flowers matching the number shown on the dice nearby

Fun-a-Day/Counting Flowers via fun-a-day.com

Pick up some artificial flowers at the dollar store for this springtime garden game. Roll the die and add that number of flowers to your pot. Then roll again and add more, counting on from where you left off. Easy and fun!

Learn more: Fun-a-Day

15. Build and count on

Math cubes with printed cards saying

Susan Jones Teaching/Building On via susanjonesteaching.com

Here’s a fun hands-on way to practice counting on and addition. You can use any type of building blocks for this one. Get free printables at the link.

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching/Building On

16. Print a hundreds chart to play Battleship

First grade math students playing battleship with hundreds charts

123 Homeschool 4 Me/Hundreds Chart Battleship via 123homeschool4me.com

Help students master numbers up to 100 by playing Battleship, using a standard hundreds chart . They’ll enjoy the strategy (and the fun of crying “boom!” when they sink a ship) while they develop number sense and practice number words.

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Hundreds Chart Battleship

17. Try nuts and bolts for place-value practice

Building Numbers worksheet with picture of child in construction gear and nuts and bolts used to represent tens and ones

The Measured Mom/Place Value Mat via themeasuredmom.com

Mastering the concepts of tens and ones is more fun with hands-on activities. We love these DIY math manipulatives that use inexpensive nuts and bolts from the hardware store to drive home the idea of place value. (Bonus: Kids also practice fine motor skills!) Get free printable mats to use with this activity at the link.

Learn more: The Measured Mom

18. Have a place-value scavenger hunt

First grade math game worksheet labeled Place Value Scavenger Hunt with clues like 0 in the tens place, with numbers cut from magazines glued in place

Primary Theme Park/Place Value Scavenger Hunt via primarythemepark.com

Grab a stack of old magazines and use it for a place-value scavenger hunt! You can do this one at school or send it home for homework. Get free printables to use for this first grade math game at the link.

Learn more: Primary Theme Park/Place Value Scavenger Hunt

19. Practice tens and ones with I Have, Who Has

Printed cards saying I have... Who has... showing math cube manipulatives and numerals

Playdough to Plato/I Have Who Has via playdoughtoplato.com

As first graders work with the concepts of tens and ones, play this simple game to give them confidence. Using the free printable cards at the link, the first player calls out “I have …” followed by the number shown on their card in blocks. Then they call out the number on the bottom, and the player who has that number takes over.

Learn more: Playdough to Plato/I Have, Who Has

20. Deal Uno cards to compare numbers

First grade math student comparing UNO cards with an adjustable greater than or less than symbol

Kindergarten Smorgasboard/Uno Card Comparison via thekindergartensmorgasboard.com

Some first grade math games are just slightly harder versions of kindergarten ones. Make a greater-than/less-than mat with paper scraps and a brad, as shown. Lay out two Uno cards on each side, since first graders work on comparing two-digit numbers. Swing the arms of the signs around to the correct direction to indicate which is greater.

Learn more: The Kindergarten Smorgasboard

21. Knock down the pins with dot arrangement bowling

Red and blue bowling pins with dot stickers and a plastic bowling ball, used for first grade math games

Cara Carroll/Subitizing Bowling via justcaracarroll.com

Take an inexpensive toy bowling set (or make your own with plastic bottles) and add sticky dots arranged in patterns. Students roll the ball and then have to quickly subitize to determine how many dots are on each pin they knocked down. If they get it right, they get the points!

Learn more: Cara Carroll

22. Navigate a time-telling maze

Telling Time Maze Challenge worksheet with crayons, showing a series of clock faces and times to connect as part of first grade math games

123 Homeschool 4 Me/Time Maze via 123homeschool4me.com

Start with the first clock and color in the line that shows the correct time. That leads you to the next clock, and so on, until you’re done!

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Time-Telling Maze

23. Assemble time-telling puzzles

Two-piece puzzles with clock faces and times

123 Homeschool 4 Me/Time-Telling Puzzles via 123homeschool4me.com

Firsties should be mastering time to the hour and half hour. These free printable puzzles help them match up analog and digital clock times. Have them say the times out loud as they match them up too.

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Time-Telling Puzzles

24. Match up plastic eggs

Plastic eggs with analog clocks on one half and digital times on the other half (First Grade Math Games)

The STEM Laboratory/Telling Time Eggs via thestemlaboratory.com

This is always a popular way to practice telling time. Draw clocks on one half of the eggs, and write out the times in numbers or words on the other half. For even more fun, hide the halves around the room and go on an egg hunt before you match them up!

Learn more: The STEM Laboratory

25. Put together shapes to make other shapes

First grade math student putting together hexagon and trapezoid blocks to make a new shape

Susan Jones Teaching/Pattern Blocks via Susan Jones Teaching

Use pattern blocks with the free printable cards at the link to get kids playing around with simple geometry. They’ll practice recognizing basic shapes and learn they can use some shapes to make new ones.

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching/Pattern Blocks

26. Partition and sort shapes

Chart divided into "Equal" and "Unequal" sections. Different shapes of sticky notes are placed in each section, depending on whether they've been partitioned equally or unequally.

Smitten With First/Fraction Sticky Notes via smittenwithfirstblog.com

Gather up sticky notes in a variety of shapes and sizes . Draw lines on them to partition them equally or unequally. Then, have kids sort them based on type.

Learn more: Smitten With First

27. Build and measure with LEGO bricks

LEGO measurement worksheets with colorful LEGO bricks, used for first grade math games

Playdough to Plato/LEGO Math via playdoughtoplato.com

Everything is more fun with LEGO! Pull out a pile of square bricks and use them for these fun and free activities that incorporate estimating, measuring, and comparing length.

Learn more: Playdough to Plato/LEGO Math

28. Race and measure with toy cars

Three toy cars labeled with sticky notes marked A, B, and C (First Grade Math Games)

Susan Jones Teaching/Non-Standard Measurement via susanjonesteaching.com

First, kids get a little STEM practice by figuring out how to build a ramp. Then, they race toy cars down the ramp, marking where they land. Finally, they compare distances using any kind of non-standard measurement they like.

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching/Non-Standard Measurement

29. Sort out your classroom toys

Large plastic hoops lying on the floor with math cubes, balls, and plastic beads sorted in them (First Grade Math Games)

BSM Year 2/Sorting Toys via bsmkew.blogspot.com

First graders work on sorting by attribute in as many as three categories. Put out a variety of building blocks, beads, or other classroom toys and lay out some Hula-Hoops. Ask kids to define the categories and start sorting! You can even overlap the hoops into Venn diagrams for items that meet more than one criterion.

Learn more: BSM Year 2

30. Go on a bug hunt

Bug Hunt Graph printable game for first grade math students

Primary Theme Park/Bug Hunt via primarythemepark.com

Grab the free printable game at the link, then have kids graph their insects as they play. When they’re done, ask questions to ensure they understand the data they’ve collected.

Learn more: Primary Theme Park/Bug Hunt

Like these first grade math games? Don’t miss these 50 First Grade Math Word Problems of the Day !

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Play these first grade math games to practice addition and subtraction, practice telling time, learn how to measure, and much more!

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I Love 1st Grade

16 Simple Ideas to Have the Best First Day of School Ever!

The first day of school is an exciting time but it’s also nerve-racking! Even after all of my years of teaching I still get nervous on the first day of school. Each year I hope for a year as great as the last one and of course, I want my students to enjoy being in my class.

back to school tips

The first day sets the groundwork for how you want each morning to go which is why on the first day I show my students what will happen each day. We hang up our backpacks and do morning greetings. Morning greetings lay the foundation for the day. I can wake up grumpy and walk into school but if someone stops me and says “Hey, Cecelia!” with a positive attitude, it automatically perks me up. Which is the exact reason I spend a ton of time on the first day going over  morning greetings and practicing. It’s also a great way to help us learn each other’s names.

  * If you would like to read more about how I use morning greetings, check out this blog post.

  2. Build Community

  Calendar   and morning meeting is a time when we all come together. We share, we sing, we dance, and it allows my students to be comfortable and participate. I want my students to know right off the bat that we spend this time together each day to build our classroom family and that our classroom is a safe space. I have used this interactive SMARTBoard Calendar and Morning Meeting for years now because it’s always a hit with my students. I give my students a tour of the different slides as a way to get them excited for what’s to come. I also use Morning Meeting and Calendar for the Year on Google Slides and PowerPoint to switch things up!

morning meeting, first grade calendar, smartboard calendar

3. Read The Pigeon Has to Go to School

The Pigeon Has to Go to School is always my first day of school book choice because my students always love it. It’s fun, it’s relatable and I use an activity as an extension. This resource requires students to advise Pigeon on how to calm his nerves by giving him tips on how great school really is. It’s a way for students to calm their nerves because when writing to Pigeon they will be able to think about why they are so excited to be at school. Choose your favorite book to read on the first day and let students know all the reasons why it’s your favorite. 

activities for 1st grade students

  • Classroom and School Tour

Give your students a tour of the classroom. Show them where the supplies are, and each of the different areas of the classroom. Giving them a tour of the classroom also reminds them of expectations for the different areas.

Next, take students on a tour of the school. My school is a big circle so I make sure to show students the bathrooms and drinking fountains located in our pod. I also highlight important areas like the office, nurse, cafeteria, and library. I also have a conversation on what happens if you get a little lost as well as how we are expected to behave while in the halls.

Last, consider making this book that lets students and parents know the basics of the new classroom. As a parent, I found it helpful to know the schedule, staff names and used it at times to reassure my son or daughter. This resource is editable so you can put the grade you want and prompts you want.

activities for 1st grade students

  • Draw a Self-Portrait

The first day of school is busy and we all need a bit of quiet time! I allow my students to draw a self-portrait on a blank sheet of paper. This gives me a chance to learn a bit about them from their drawing and writing abilities, it’s a bit of a quick assessment. I also hold onto the drawings as a keepsake for students to look back on at the end of the year. And, my goodness- the progress is amazing!

Me Bags are a great way for students to get to know one another. I have a few students share theirs within those first few days of school. I pass out the Me Bags at Meet the Teacher Night but this could also be something you send home on the first day of school.

me bag

  • Teacher Interview

First-graders are curious little ones. They want to know everything from my favorite food to my kids’ names. I give them a chance to do a teacher interview, each student has the opportunity to ask me a question. It’s so fun to watch them get excited as they learn about me.

  • Practice Reading Stamina

Reading is a huge part of first grade and students come in at all different levels. And, that first day is a great time to get students comfortable with our classroom library and independent reading. So, I place a ton of different books on the tables and show students how to choose a book, and how we sit quietly at our tables and read. Then, it’s their turn and I am secretly timing how long students go before they get distracted. And, we celebrate how long we lasted and it’s my first introduction to a growth mindset. We will continue to do better with practice!

  • Read-Alouds!

There are so many great books to read on the first day of school so I make sure to include a few fun read-alouds. I always choose First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg because we are all a little nervous and it helps students to know they aren’t alone. I also always read I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, it’s one of my favorite books and it shows my students how much I truly care about each of them. I read it on the first and last day of school every year (Remember, when I said no tears on the first day- this one makes it tough).

Then I include a writing activity to have students write their wishes for the school year!

  • Practice Elbow Partners

I use elbow partners all year for so many different activities. If you aren’t familiar, it’s when you ask students to engage with a student whose elbow is near one of your elbows, so not their best buddy from across the room, someone close.

I teach students the process of quickly finding an elbow partner and make sure we can do this efficiently and without hurting anyone’s feelings. I practice this by asking students to share if they are nervous or not and why. I listen in and get a better grasp of how my students are doing on their first day.

  • Introduce Go-to Games

We play a ton of different games throughout the school year but with games come rules and expectations. I teach my students how to play a math game that I select from my Beginning of the Year First Grade Math pack. I review the rules, expectations, and model the game on my document camera.

math games, first grade math games

  • Review Classroom Rules and Expectations

From walking in the hall to noise levels in the classroom. Students have a good amount of expectations but we can’t expect them to just know so we have to make sure we teach, review, and model these expectations. I provide opportunities throughout the day to practice especially when we are headed out to specials, I make sure to include time to practice walking in the hallways.

  • Ice Breakers

The first day of school is busy, a lot of learning is happening and it’s pretty exhausting for all of us. I add in a few more getting-to-know-you activities towards the end of the day because students enjoy them and they are pretty low-pressure. These activities let students end the day on a positive note allowing them to get excited for another day.

One of my favorites is this M&M activity because who doesn’t want to end the day with chocolate? And, I’d much rather send them sugared up 🙂

You can download it here for free!

Most importantly remember to take a deep breath. The first day of school is busy and often includes a bit of chaos. But, remember it’s ok that everything didn’t go perfectly, we are all learning together.

  • Take Pictures

Take an individual picture of each student on their first day and then again on their last day. The differences will be incredible and it’s a fun keepsake for parents at the end of the year.

  • Goodbye Routine

Finally, we practiced how to pack up and do our daily dismissal. We give high-fives, and hugs, and share a ton of smiles. I always let my parents know what an awesome day we had and how much I enjoyed the class. I want my firsties to go home with a smile on their face sharing how excited they are for another day. The best first day of school includes easy, fun, and small chunks of learning filled with the opportunity to get to know one another as we begin to build our classroom family.

I hope you all have the best first day ever!

If you like these ideas, check out my First Week of First Grade Lesson Plans and Activities on Tpt ,  and right here on the blog. You may also like my mega Back to School Bundle on Tpt that’s 30% off  or here on the blog all of the resources (and more) discussed in this post.

activities for 1st grade students

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Teach Junkie

98 First Grade-Friendly Teaching Ideas

If you teach first grade , then I’ve got your back. Here are 98  first grade-friendly ideas to help you teach creatively and make your lesson planning easier. This collection from awesome teachers includes science , reading skills , worksheets and math for 1st grade .

98 First Grade-Friendly Teaching Ideas

There’s no shortage of great teaching ideas that you can tweak for first grade either. If you’re looking for something different – Teach Junkie has your back. Subscribe to get daily or weekly email updates with creative teaching ideas from featured teachers!

Science for 1st Graders

Force and Motion Experiment - STEM Printable

1.  Force and Motion Experiments  – Teach how force and motion work with these basic tools that’ll have your class hooked.

16 Classic and Creative Ways to Teach Worms - Teach Junkie

2.  16 Classic and Creative Ways to Teach Worms  – Digging into the dirt or digging up good lessons on worms? This collection is a great place to start and find your next lesson plan idea.

4 Easy and Quick Parts of a Plant Activities - Teach Junkie

3.  4 Easy and Quick Parts of a Plant Activities  – Find creative ways to learn about plants with this mini-collection of plant part activities.

It's a Worm Kind of Day - Teach Junkie

4.  Earthworms In a Day – Fun Life Science  – Teach Earthworms in one day and make the most out of it. A fun way to integrate reading, writing and observation.

A Simple Plant Project - Teach Junkie

5.  Simple 3D Parts of a Plant Craft  – Combine a craft with learning about plants in this 3D plant part diagram complete with labels.

Growing Plants in the Classroom Just Got Cooler - Teach Junkie

6.  Coolest Parts of a Plant DIY Viewer  – Create a plant viewer that is stunning on display and totally functional in the classroom.

Pond Water Observations and Investigation - Teach Junkie

7.  Pond Water Observations and Investigation  – Compare pond water to school water and teach beginning observation skills.

Teach Junkie: 25 Easy Frog and Toad Ideas and Activities

8.  25 Easy Frog and Toad Ideas and Activities  – One of my all time favorite collections of creative teaching ideas! This combines both the science and literature aspects of frogs and toads – perfect for first grade curriculum.

10 Scientific Method Tools to Make Science Easier - Teach Junkie

9.  10 Scientific Method Tools to Make Science Easier  – Break down the scientific method for firsties with tools like classroom posters that make your job teaching science easier.

Rocks for Kids – 12 Activities and Ideas

10.  Rocks for Kids – 15 Fun Activities and Ideas  – Edible rocks, creative anchor charts and more to take your teaching physical science to new levels.

Butterfly Journal - Teach Junkie

11.  Butterfly Observation Journal Printable  – Make a mini-book that is perfect for observing the life cycle of butterflies.

First Grade Skills

Freebie Game for Categories & Visual Memory

12.  Freebie Game: Categories and Visual Perception  – Take categorization to a new level with this clever seek and find game. Also perfect for for reinforcing partner work and learning to agree.

13.  Singular and Plural Nouns Sorting Cards  – Sort printable cards into piles of singular nouns and plural nouns.

3 Spring Alphabetical Order Downloads for First Grade

14.  3 Spring Alphabetical Order Downloads for First Grade  – Order words by the letters of the alphabet with three different printables. All free downloads to work on ABC order.

Counting Syllables Printables : Syllables - 8 Easy to Print Activities Teach Junkie

15.  Syllables – 8 Easy to Print Activities  – Kick up learning about syllables just a notch or start with the basics with these ready to print syllable activity ideas and worksheets.

Teach Junkie: Real/Silly Words Sort {QR Code}

16.  Real/Silly Word Sort {QR Code}  – A great reinforcement before taking the first Dibels assessment. Students read the cvc words and decode as a real or silly word by sorting it in the correct pile.

Spin and Read Digraphs – Beach Style {Free Download}

17.  Spin and Read Digraphs – Beach Style {Free Download}  – Build in digraphs into your word work with this fun summer themed spin and rad game. Features sh, ch, th and wh.

3 Vowel Pattern Worksheets {Free Download}

18.  3 Vowel Pattern Worksheets {Free Download}  – Using the letter tiles as manipulative pieces, your first graders can build words using the popular vowel patterns ee and ea.

19.  Easy Making Words With Bits Workmat {Free Download}  – Reading four and five letter words fluidly becomes important as firsties work on automaticity with digraphs. This  reading game encourages thinking about using basic language rules and digraphs.

Teach Junkie: 3 ELA Beginning Sounds and Blends Worksheets

20.  3 ELA Beginning Sounds and Blends Worksheets  – Three different free printables to focus on hearing and identifying beginning blends/sounds in words.

21.  4 ELA Beginning Reader CVC Games {Free Download}  – A great set of cvc games to help get your year started or for remediation with struggling beginning readers.

Penguins - Poems for Kids - Teach Junkie

22.  Penguins – Poems for Kids  – While this idea was originally designed for upper grades, first graders can totally handle it! Simply offer more guidance and create word banks together. Perfect to accompany reading Tacky the Penguin books.

Ouch Poetry - Teach Junkie

23.  Ouch! Poetry that Doesn’t Hurt  – A fun poetry lesson or even a cute lesson to leave with a substitute teacher. The band-aids will surely leave them hooked.

24.  6 Spring ELA Word Work Activities {Free Download}  – Dig into more word work activities with a spring theme.

11 Spring Poems for Children and Poetry Ideas

25.  11 Spring Poems for Children and Poetry Ideas  – Poetry can be integrated in lots of ways including with your science themes. These ideas are to help inspire teaching poetry in various ways.

Reading Strategies

5 Steps to Building Accuracy in Young Readers - Teach Junkie

26.  5 Steps to Building Accuracy in Young Readers  – If you’ve got readers that can comprehend but really need to work on fluency, these 5 tips will be a big help. You’ll love that it’s not as tricky as it may seems at first.

5 Quick Sight Word Helpers for Everyday Use - Teach Junkie

27.  5 Quick Sight Word Helpers for Everyday Use  – Build up your students banks of sight words with these 5 quick resources to integrate teaching sight words.

Sight Word Battleship - Teach Junkie

28.  Sight Words Battleship Treasure Hunt Game  – A great way to differentiate practicing sight words with first graders. You can completely alter this game to fit the exact needs of your students.

29.  Reading Strategy File Folders {Comprehension}  – Use sticky notes to help build reading comprehension skills as a way of responding to intervention or to use in your guided reading groups. Complete one as a group to encourage learning how to use this tool.

Guided Reading Goal Setting Bookmarks {printable}

30.  Guided Reading Goal Setting Bookmarks {printable}  – Help students set goals using these printable and cute bookmarks during your guided reading lessons.

5 Quick Reading Tips and Fun Ideas

31.  5 Quick Reading Tips and Fun Ideas  – Reading in different ways is a fun way to change things up. This mini-collection is an easy way to spice up a reading lesson.

Story Elements {Teaching Characters and Plot Structure}

32.  Story Elements {Teaching Characters and Plot Structure}  – Teach the setting, characters and plot with these story element resources.

First Grade Fun

Sight Word Action Spelling - Ninja Style

33.  Sight Words Action Spelling – Ninja Style  – Spelling words and sight words just got more active with these ninja style moves.

Using iPods as Listening Centers

34.  Using iPods as Listening Centers  – Find out how you can get iPods donated to your classroom and a way to organize them to use in a first grade classroom.

35.  65 Printable Games {Teacher Created} on Teach Junkie  – You’re sure to grab a few games designed for 1st grade from this list of printable math and printable language arts games with some overlap to this list.

Art Projects

Phases of the Moon Oil Painting

36.  Phases of the Moon Oil Painting  – A gorgeous end product to work on recognizing the moon phases.

Spring Art Project Japanese Cherry Blossom - Teach Junkie

37.  Pinkalicious Spring Japanese Cherry Blossom Art  – Connect art and literature with this tempera and watercolor cherry blossom art project. Start with a Pinkalicious book to set the lesson up.

Monet Art Project - Teach Junkie

38.  Beautifully Easy Spring Monet Art Project  – Using painter’s tape and fingerprints, this easy art project will have stunning results as students fill the page with color.

Watercolor Flower Art Project - Teach Junkie

39.  Watercolor Flower Art Project  – Use materials you have on hand like crayons or chalk and watercolor paint to create beautiful flowers.

Math Made for First Graders

Solving Word Problems - Strategy Posters for Kids

40.  Solving Word Problems – Strategy Posters for Kids  – Encourage and reinforce using different and appropriate strategies during math lessons with these printable posters.

Even and Odd Cut and Paste Alien Printable - Teach Junkie

41.  Even and Odd Cut and Paste Alien Printable  – Solve addition and subtraction problems and sort the answers into odd or even piles to fuel the alien spaceship.

40 Roll and Cover

42.  40 Roll and Cover “Bump” Cool Math Games  – This collection of bump games has a lot that are perfect for first grade! Addition, subtraction and more.

Teaching Addition - March Task Cards

43.  Teaching Addition – March Task Cards  – Play scoot or turn these task cards into a write the room activity. Just right for St. Patrick’s day.

Subtraction Dr. Seuss Style: One Fish Two Fish - Teach Junkie

44.  Subtraction Dr. Seuss Style: One Fish Two Fish  – Subtract within 20 with these workmats. They have a fish theme that you can connect to Read Across America week, or Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

A Fishy Competition - Teach Junkie

45.  A Fishy Competition Subtraction Game  – Create subtraction situations with two parts (or addends) using manipulatives and dry erase boards.

18 Telling Time To The Hour Resources - telling time with snowmen - Teach Junkie

46.  18 Quick Telling Time to the Hour Resources  – Working on telling time to the hour just got easier with these printables, videos and more.

St. Patrick's Day Time {differentiated activity}

47.  St. Patrick’s Day Time {differentiated activity}  – Take the analog clocks with time to the hour and half hour and use the alphabet letter to write in the answers on the included worksheet.

Time for Spring! Telling Time Practice Pages

48.  Time for Spring! Telling Time Practice Pages  – Give students the opportunity to draw time onto an analog clock and hook them with a springtime riddle.

49.  16 Spring and Easter Math Ideas {Free Download}  – Spring and Easter themed math printables are designed to work on addition, subtraction, even and odd and analyzing data.

50.  Birthday Scatter Graph – Simple Display  – Make your birthday display functional as you create a scatter graph with all of your first graders’ birthdays by month.

5 Graphing Measurement and Data Activities for Fun - Moustache You a Question - Teach Junkie

51.  5 Graphing Measurement and Data Activities for Fun  – Students create their own questions to ask of their classmates and analyze the results. The moustache aspect is a trending way to turn into a fun activity.

M&M Graphing Activity - Teach Junkie

52.  M&M Graphing Activity  – What’s not to love about a classic sorting activity to introduce collecting data… with chocolate? Create your own questions for analyzing the data that matches the needs of your class.

The BEST Way to Learn 3D Shapes - Teach Junkie

53.  The BEST Way to Teach 3D Shapes  – Reinforce the vertices and faces of 3D shapes with these hands on playdough tutorials on how to form 3D shapes.

Superhero Hundreds Chart Game

54.  Superhero Hundreds Chart Game {Free Printable}  – Use knowledge of adding ten to place this game set up on the hundreds chart.

Cool Math for Kids - Counting to 120 Quick Trick - Teach Junkie

55.  Cool Math for Kids – Counting to 120 Quick Trick  – Here’s a fun math activity that reinforces counting to 120. Students will love to play this trick on their parents.

56.  How to Teach Drawing Ten Frames  – If you’re working on place value or composing and decomposing skills, start with the basics of how to draw a ten frame. It’s a great tool in place of using tally marks.

6 Place Value Printables and Activities

57.  6 Place Value Printables and Activities  – A whole range of place value materials to print and use for working on understanding numbers in tens and ones.

Teaching Money with Games and Anchor Charts {Free Download}

58.  Teaching Money with Games and Anchor Charts {Free Download}  – Printable money posters that are ready to hang in your classroom.

Spring Insect Coin Value Game {Free Download}

59.  Spring Insect Coin Value Game {Free Download}  – Adding money with this roll and cover game introduces adding pennies, nickels and dimes.

Writing Prompts and Ideas

60.  10 Helpful Writing Prompt Ideas and Anchor Charts  – Get writing ideas to help you build up your first grade writers.

61.  Pre-Writing Graphic Organizer – Persuasive, Narrative, Informational  – If you teach writing different genres, this pre-writing organizer can help.

Paragraph Writing – Common Core Main Topic

62.  Paragraph Writing – Common Core Main Topic  – Teach how to stick to the topic and write three sentences to create a simple paragraph.

6 In-Depth All About Writing Tutorials - Teach Junkie

63.  6 In-Depth “All About” Writing Tutorials  – If you love using “all about” books for a writer’s workshop – try one of these tutorials to give new insight or inspiration.

Student Executive File and Word Wall Idea

64.  Individual Word Wall File Folder  – Create an individual file folder word wall. Fill it with meaningful charts and words for each student – a great way to differentiate!

65.  Writers Workshop Headphones {DIY}  – Keep students quieter and give those that need more focus the opportunity to get it with old headphone sets.


66.  5 “How-To” Writing Prompts {Goodie Bag}  – Take the “how to” writing prompts to the next level with these five examples for inspiration. Some include free printables.

Teach Junkie: Need for Snowman

67.  All I Need for a Snowman {Free Download}  – Writing papers to connect with the classic winter story “All You Need For a Snowman.”

Holidays Made Easy

10 Teacher Friendly Earth Day Go-To Activities - Paper Plate Globe - Teach Junkie

68.  10 Teacher Friendly Earth Day Go-To Activities  – Make celebrating the Earth in smart ways easy as you plan ahead for April.

69.  7 Fast Activities for Earth Day and Printables {Free}  – Printing these free downloads may be the last minute Earth day lesson plans happen in blink.

70.  The BEST April Fools Hoax Ever – It’s the Teacher’s Turn!  – This April Fool’s day, you’ve got the best trick in the bag ready to go. All you need are some carrots and a straight face.

6 St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan Ideas

71.  6 St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan Ideas  – Whether it’s writing or a craft, here is a list of lesson plan idea starters to help you find a great lesson for March.

72.  7 St. Patrick’s Day Math Free Downloads  – Focus on math on St. Patrick’s Day like with a lucky coins game download.

73.  4 St. Patrick’s Day Language Arts {Free Download}  – Sort nouns, adjectives and verbs or get free March vocabulary word wall cards to make your teaching life easier.

74.  2 Fun Activities for St. Patrick’s Day Math  – Tweak this activity with Lucky Charms to create problem solving prompts for math.

6 Dr. Seuss Inspired Math Activities {Free Download}

75.  6 Dr. Seuss Inspired Math Activities {Free Download}  – Use a a set of missing addend cards or an addition bump game in March.

76.  Dr. Seuss Language Arts {Free Downloads}  – Create a Lorax paper bag puppet or do a little green eggs and ham themed word work with these two free downloads.

77.  13 Fun and Clever Dr. Seuss Ideas For the Classroom  – Teach hot to draw Cat in the Hat, make Horton Hears a Who, or grab a few printable games.

Guided Drawing – How to Draw Cat in the Hat

78.  Guided Drawing – How to Draw Cat in the Hat  – Teach how to draw the Cat in the Hat with this great step by step tutorial.

Dental Health Coloring Page

79.  Dental Health Month Coloring Page  – Remind students how to take care of their teeth during dental health month with this a printable coloring page.

80.  Valentine’s Day Addition Doubles Game {printable}  – Students work on adding their doubles facts in this printable math game.

Valentine’s Day Time {differentiated centers}

81.  Valentine’s Day Time {differentiated centers}  – Turn this game into a matching game or a walk the room task card activity.

82.  Valentine’s Day Doubles Roll, Add, Cover Game  – We love roll and cover games for primary students. This one is a heart theme set of cards just right for February.

Martin Luther King - Teach Junkie

83.  I Have a Dream Coloring Page  – Review what you’ve taught on MLK with a coloring page.

27 Helpful Martin Luther King Jr. Activities - Diversity: Teach Junkie

84.  27 Helpful Martin Luther King Jr. Activities  – This collection has a lot of options for teaching MLK Day in first grade friendly ways – including using playdough to teach diversity.

Easy Ways to Pose the Elf on the Shelf

85.  47 Elf On The Shelf Classroom Escapades and Resources  – The fun and cutest ways to make the Elf on the Shelf happen in your classroom leading up until Christmas break.

Thanksgiving Games

86.  13 Thanksgiving Games and Worksheets for Kids  – This collection of crafts, games and worksheets has a lot available for first grade. The ABC order worksheet is one good example.

Crafts for First Grade Fingers

Bird Nest Collage - Teach Junkie

87.  Spring Themed Crafts DIY Birds Nest  – Create a birds nest craft using simple items like a paper plate, tissue and paper.

Dinosaur Craftivity - Teach Junkie

88.  Simple Dinosaur Craft Pattern Freebie  – Create a dinosaur template to glue together. Pieces can be traced by students or simply run onto construction paper and cut out.

Frozen Snowman Olaf Craft Activity - Teach Junkie

89.  Frozen Olaf Snowman Craft Activity  – Work on beginning money skills with this popular Frozen themed craft. Students spend money to purchase decorations for their snowman.

90.  22 Apple-licious Classroom Activities and Freebies  – A whole collection of primary resources for teaching about the life cycle of an apple tree.

Teach Junkie: Snowman Cut n' Build {Free Download}

91.  Snowman Cut n’ Build {Free Download}  – A printable one-page template for students to cut and glue together a snowman. Great with the All You Need to Build a Snowman writing prompt above.

Teacher Tools

92.  10 Classroom Library Organization Labels {Free Download}  – Whether it’s by level or theme, you can organize your classroom library with these book basket labels.

93.  5 Free Printable Word Wall Alphabet Cards  – Get cute headers for your classroom word wall since having a print rich environment is so key in first grade.

2 Classroom Management Expectations Poster Sets

94.  2 Classroom Management Expectations Poster Sets  – Focus on the positive with posters that help set up your expectations for classroom procedures and routines.

End of the 1st Grade Year

17 Simple End of the school Year Student Gifts and Writing Activities

95.  17 Simple End of the School Year Student Gifts and Writing Activities  – The writing pieces in this collection are just right for the end of a first grade year.

10 Day Countdown - Teach Junkie

96.  Last Day of School 10 Day Balloon Countdown  – Set up a popping good coutndown to the last day of school with this clever balloon display. Includes a free printable with 10 activities for first grade.

How to Send Home Work SIMPLY {End of the Year}

97.  How to Send Home Work SIMPLY {End of the Year}  – Add items to a snuggle bag to help get all of your first grade projects home safely. Make them cherished by families with this cute twist on sending work home.

26 Fun and Memorable End of the School Year Celebration Ideas

98. 26 Fun and Memorable End of the School Year Celebration Ideas  – Repeat your beginning of the year photo idea with a new end of year one – to show how they’ve grown. Or create a new picture-taking setup to celebrate the end of the first grade year.

Now that’s a whopper of a collection that has a little bit of everything! I hope you found these first-grade friendly ideas a time saver.

Cute First Grade Teacher T-Shirts

Thanks to all of the talented teachers featured in this collection – your ideas will be so helpful to many fellow teachers! Feel free to grab the “ I’m a Featured Teach Junkie ” blog button as your creations are definitely worth the shout out.

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Teach Junkie

Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} loves learning new things to make teaching easier and more effective. She enjoys featuring creative classroom fun when she's not designing teacher shirts, making kindergarten lesson plans or planning her family's next trip to Disney World.

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Educational Activities and Teaching Resources for 1st Grade

Welcome to 1st grade! First graders can do way more than just count by the end of the year, they can add and subtract in their heads, put two triangles together to make a square, and even tell you (give or take an hour) what time it is. First grade math standards throughout the country build on early number sense work, addition and subtraction with small numbers, place value understanding, simple measurement and time, and spatial reasoning, to lay a strong foundation for more complex work in years to come.

When it comes to reading, forget those nervous, new-to-school vibes. First graders are seasoned vets who know a thing or two about how the classroom works. Reading groups are where the magic happens. First grade is an exciting time in a young reader's journey to literacy. Many students will be transitioning from guided to independent reading, learning how to read familiar stories with understanding and purpose. Print concepts and the ability to decode more complex words will also be developed.

Some of the skills students will master in eSpark include:

  • Adding and subtracting up to 20
  • Solving word problems
  • Developing number sense skills with number bonds and other strategies
  • Understanding place values
  • Finding unknown addends
  • Comparing numbers and differentiating less than, equal to, and greater than
  • Measuring and sorting by lengths
  • Creating simple graphs and charts
  • Telling time to the hour and half-hour
  • Drawing, building, and dividing shapes
  • Asking and answering questions about texts
  • Retelling and describing stories, including key details, characters, settings, and events
  • Identifying the narrator and point of view
  • Using illustrations and pictures to better understand texts
  • Comparing and contrasting texts
  • Recognizing features of a sentence, including capitalization and simple punctuation
  • Segmenting words into phonemes
  • Knowing the spelling-sound correspondence for common digraphs
  • Recognizing sight words
  • Self-correcting while reading
  • Using common verb tenses, affixes, and inflections
  • Leveraging context clues
  • Distinguishing shades of meaning

eSpark is truly unique in the world of online learning. Our holistic, student-centered approach blends the proven benefits of play-based learning with systematic, explicit, and direct instruction. It’s proof that learning can be fun, personalized, and effective, all at once!

eSpark meets the criteria for evidence-based interventions under ESSA guidelines, and has been proven in multiple studies to improve student performance in math and reading.

When you sign up for an eSpark account, your students experience these activities via adaptive, differentiated independent pathways and teacher-driven small group assignments. Teachers also have access to detailed usage and progress reports with valuable insights into standards mastery, student growth trends, and intervention opportunities.

With the addition of the game-changing Choice Texts for the 2023-2024 school year, eSpark has cemented its status as the most loved supplemental instruction option for students and teachers alike. Claim your free account today and see the difference for yourself!

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activities for 1st grade students

Favorite First Grade Back to School Activities

  • August 7, 2022
  • Back to School , Classroom Activities

The first week of first grade can be exhausting to say the least! Usually by Friday I’m ready to crawl in bed by 8pm. Definitely a whole new level of #teachertired Surviving the first week of first grade is a little easier with some go-to low-prep activities to use year after year! So what do you do during the first week of school? Here are a few of my favorite first grade back to school activities!

First Grade Back to School Activities: Idea 1

Jitter juice book, poem, and treat.

This is an oldie but goodie! First we read First Day Jitters. This is the first read aloud we do on the first day of school. It is the perfect opportunity to practice procedures for sitting on the rug and listening to the read aloud. We learn how to do a turn and talk with our elbow partners and make some quick predictions during the story. The book has a surprise ending that the kids love! 

A little later in the day we read the Jitter Juice Poem. We read it a couple different times and I have students come up and circle sight words they recognize in the poem. 

Finally, students get to enjoy some jitter juice! Which is really just a pitcher of green Hawaiian Punch 😉 while they drink their juice, they get their very own copy of the jitter juice poem. They can find and circle sight words or just color! 

activities for 1st grade students

First Grade Back to School Activities: Idea 2

Chrysanthemum name activities.

First graders love their names! I always incorporate name activities during the first week of school! 

Our second day of school read-aloud is always Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I tell the students this is my FAVORITE book and ask them to think about what their favorite book is. Then we practice a turn and talk again and share our favorite with our elbow partner! 

As we read we discuss what the author wants us to learn in the book- It is important to be kind and our words have power to hurt others or help others! 

Later in the day we talk about our names and how each one is special just like Chrysanthemum’s name! Then we do some name station activities. This is the perfect opportunity to practice working in “centers” and learn about the word work materials they will use throughout the year during reading centers. 

At each of the classroom tables I put a different activity and a class name list for students to practice making their name and their classmates’ names! 

activities for 1st grade students

Some of the activities include:

Magnet letters

Letter Beads and pipe cleaners 


Water color 


I like to spread the activities out over a couple days. The centers give us the chance to practice procedures for how to clean up materials quickly and quietly and transition from one activity to the next! 

First Grade Back to School Activities: Idea 3

No prep writing craft (freebie).

Another one of my favorite first grade back to school activities is completing a No Prep Writing Craft! The first week of school is a great time to learn procedures for using scissors and glue. Before I even pass them out we model and discuss how to use each supply safely and correctly. Then students complete one of my no-prep writing crafts. I love starting with these because of how simple they are! And they are so cute for hanging up in the classroom or back to school bulletin boards! 

Favorite First grade back to school activities no prep writing craft freebie

You can grab these no prep crafts for free here!  

First Grade Back to School Activities: Idea 4

Solve the room.

Solve the Room is a math activity that students complete during math centers each week throughout the year! I love having them practice as a partner activity during the first week of school. I tape a set of my Solve the Room Math Task Cards around the classroom. I give each student a clipboard and a recording sheet. Students walk around the room with their partner, find the task card, solve, and write the answer on their recording sheet.  Read more about how I Manage my Math Centers here!

Favorite First grade back to school activities math center activity

You can find my Solve the Room Year-long Bundle here!

Solve the Room 1st grade math task cards for math centers all year long bundle

First Grade Back to School Activities: Idea 5

Back to school night writing.

Favorite First grade back to school activities back to school night writing activity

Another one of my favorite first grade back to school activities is this Back to School Night Writing!

Our Back to School/ Meet the Teacher Night is usually about a week or so after school starts. I love having students complete a little writing activity at the end of our first week together to leave for their parents when they come in. First we brainstorm all the things we’ve done and learned so far in first grade. I record their responses on an anchor chart. Students then complete their writing/drawing activity independently! 

Favorite First grade back to school activities back to school night writing activity

One thing that I’ve learned about the first week of school is that you never get to everything you have planned, and that’s perfectly okay! Do what you have time for and save the rest for next year.

I hope these first grade back to school activities and ideas are helpful. After the week is over make sure you treat yourself to something special! (Your favorite adult beverage perhaps? 😉) You deserve it!

Will you try out any of these activities this year? Let me know in the comments! Happy first week of school!

activities for 1st grade students

Hi, I'm Kelsey!

I am a first grade teacher and I am passionate about sharing teaching ideas to engage students and help teachers save time!  I live in Indianapolis with my husband Tyler and daughter Charlotte. Organization, bright colors, and creating fun teaching resources make my heart happy!


6 Responses

Thanks for sharing! Where can I find the labels for word work activities?

Hi Gennie! The work work labels are from Pocketful of Primary on TPT! 🙂

  • Pingback: 3 Simple and Fun Ideas for the Last Day of School - Happy Hearts in 1st

I have been teaching Pre-Kindergarten for the past 12 years and this Fall will be my very first year teaching 1st Grade. I am so so excited and to be honest a little nervous. Thank you for sharing your teaching ideas! ❤️

I love all these ideas and plan to use most of them this next school year. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you somuch I’m a retired teacher subbing first grade for the first few weeks of school. Your ideas and activities are a blessing!!!

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