FREE Kindergarten Math Centers Your Students Will LOVE

Math centers are a fun and effective way to get kindergarten students engaged in learning and applying important math skills and strategies that we are working on in the classroom. 

Your students get to have a more active role in their learning when you use engaging centers, and it gives you a chance to do more one-on-one instruction with the students who need it. This gives students an increased sense of independence, which is always a great thing! 

They will also get the opportunity to work with hands-on manipulatives. With students this age, this improves their motivation to learn which then increases their outcomes and helps them hit benchmarks with ease. You can do individual testing once they know how to do centers independently. 

I love coming up with fun and creative centers to get my students excited about math. The opportunities are truly endless! 

My favorite math centers theme is a “Math Salad Bar” or “Math Café”

math centers

You can make your Math Café (or Buffet or Salad Bar) out of a bookcase or a rolling cart. A student pulls out the manipulative cart and then they choose a recipe card that functions like a task card. It includes the material list, number of people who can participate in the math activity, picture cues, and directions. They will choose their partners if required, fill their tray with materials, and do the activity anywhere in the room! They can easily clean up by using a tray to hold their materials.

Here are three fun activities to include in your café

  • Roll and Cover Caterpillar
  • Sorting Bears by Color
  • Fish Match-Up Addition

The best part is, you can get all three of these math centers for FREE by visiting my store here.

math centers

You’ll get everything you need to get started with your own Math Salad Bar or Math Café. 

Check out this video on how to set it up in your classroom!

For more tips, you can also check out my post here.

If you love these and want some more activities, you can get more with the full bundle here! This yearlong bundle includes digital cards, blank recipe cards, assessments, posters, and crafts as well as more math centers. 

What is your favorite thing about math centers? Let me know in the comments!

Math Centers for kindergarten

How to Make Alphabet Worksheets Fun

Teachers cringe in primary grades with they hear the word “worksheets”, but we all understand that they are important hands-on tools for developing readers and writers. They truly are the simplest and most straightforward way to give students lots of practice with the skills they need to learn. 

Worksheets get a bad rap in my opinion! 

If you have worksheets that require cutting, coloring, painting, folding, thinking, and creating, they serve as great learning tools for developing minds. It also gives students a variety of ways to practice their skills so they don’t get restless. They don’t have to be boring! There are so many ways to make them fun.

worksheets

 Center time is a great time to use worksheets. 

This is because students can work together to create a group project or individually to learn beginning sounds, letter formation, and practice letter identification.  These worksheets and crafts are great for that. 

Here are some creative ways to use alphabet worksheets in your classroom

worksheets

  • Add playdough to a worksheet to form letters for fine motor skills.
  • Add them into plastic sleeves and let students use dry erase markers to fill them out. This saves on paper and also gets students engaged because who doesn’t love using those markers? 
  • Have a snowball fight with them afterward. Students will be more motivated to get their work completed and excited to do them! Just tell them when they are done with their worksheet, bring it to you to check, then if all is well, they can ball it up and make a snowball. When everyone is done, let the snowball fight begin! 
  • Add a soccer goal or basketball hoop! This is a great way to get students up and moving. Once they complete their worksheet and have it checked off, they get to shoot a basket or kick their “ball” into the soccer goal. 
  • Make crafts out of them! As mentioned above and in this post here, crafts are so great for little learners for so many reasons. If you are working on letters, have students create something with their letters. For example, turn the letter A into an alligator by coloring or painting, adding googly eyes, and a mouth. 

I created these alphabet worksheets as a way to give students lots of practice with the letters of the alphabet without getting bored. 

Each letter comes with a variety of activities and ways to practice. It is a complete A-Z bundle so it will be all you need for your reading or writing lessons!

What are your favorite ways to use worksheets in the classroom? Let me know in the comments!

4 Reasons Crafts Are Important In Kindergarten

Crafts are powerful tools for developing skills needed in reading and writing. Some think crafts are “fluff” or “busy work.” Continued research supports the value of crafts for young students. 

Here Are 4 Reasons Crafts Are Important In Kindergarten

Fine Motor Skills.

Students at this age are still developing their fine motor skills. They are also still working on hand-eye coordination. Doing crafts in the classroom is fun and can help students work on these important skills as they cut shapes, glue, and put things together. 

They teach colors, shapes, letter recognition, and formation.

These are skills students will use every day of their lives so it is important for them to get plenty of practice in new and exciting ways. Creating something new can help get students the practice they need without them even realizing they are learning. 

crafts

Engagement.

I don’t know any younger students who don’t love crafts. Its a hands-on activity where they get to use their creativity to make something that they can show to their parents. It’s so fun! This is a great way to get students truly engaged in learning. 

crafts

Listening and following directions.

Many kindergarten students are having their first ever experience in a school setting. Things like listening and following directions are not always concepts they understand yet. Doing these activities are a fun way to practice listening and following directions to create something exciting. 

Crafts are a fun addition to any lesson. Working on letters? Try out some alphabet crafts! Reading a new story? Do a craft to go along with it! Learning about community helpers? Make some police hat crafts! The opportunities are endless. 

Aside from the benefits listed above, these activities are a great way to add some variety to your lessons and prevent students from burning out while doing traditional worksheets. 

Looking for more kindergarten tips? Check out my tips for teaching alphabet writing and identification. 


 

Exciting Ways To Teach Community Helpers

One of the important lessons we cover in kindergarten or first grade is on the topic of community helpers. We generally consider this to be police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, construction workers, mail carriers, etc. This is a great way to teach about the different kinds of people who help in our community. It helps students further understand how a community works and the important roles these people play. 

There are tons of ways you can teach this lesson and make it super fun and engaging for your students! 

Here are some of my favorite ways to teach about community helpers.

  • Bring in guest speakers. Reach out to some of the community helpers in your area and ask them to come in and speak to the class! This can be parents in that profession, or friends. The guest can share what they do, how they help the community, and what a typical day in their profession looks like. 
  • Keep a journal. As students are learning about the different community helpers, have them keep a journal about the different people. They can draw pictures of them in uniform and get some writing practice by writing a couple of sentences about who they are and what they do. 
  • Discuss the differences between long ago and today. How were the jobs different? Are they easier now? This is a great activity to encourage critical thinking. 
  • List the different occupations. Use this list to get students thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. They can write it in their journal and you can go around the classroom sharing. 
  • Read books about community helpers. Whenever possible, adding a story or two about your topic will enrich your lessons. 
  • Watch videos about community helpers. There are lots of options available on Youtube. This video includes a fun song for students to sing or dance along to. 

Looking for more activities to do during your community helpers lesson? Check out my Community Helpers resource! 

community helpers

This download is nine weeks of lessons designed to easily create a journal for students to use, interactive notebook pages, posters, and so much more! It covers three topics, Community Jobs, Tools and Equipment for Jobs, and Today vs. Long Ago.

community helpers

This resource covers 9 full weeks of detailed lesson plans. You’ll get everything listed above and some extras including poems and songs, how to dial 911, cut and label activities for different community helpers, a volunteer art handprint gift, police officer hat/headband, police badges, and firefighter hats. Everything you need for this exciting social studies topic! 

community helpers

What are your favorite ways to teach about this topic? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more social studies fun? Check out my year long social studies bundle for kindergarten and first grade!