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

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. 


 

Engaging Geography Lessons For Kindergarten And First Grade

When you think of teaching kindergarten and first grade students, you often think of letters, numbers, reading, math, etc. Those subjects are extremely important, but it is also beneficial to them to introduce the subject of geography! 

Learning about the different countries around the world is so important. To these kiddos, they may not even realize that there is more out there besides what they can see. It’s so fun to teach them about all of the different countries, continents, and people around the world and watch their eyes light up in wonder. 

Learning about geography is so vital to students because: 

  1. It teaches them about the diversity of locations and cultures in other countries around the world.
  2. It helps them know where they are and what else is there- giving them a sense of location. 
  3. It helps them understand the impacts of changes in the environment on land and people. 
  4. It helps them understand and appreciate nature.
  5. It helps them understand the world and their place in it. 

For kindergarten and first graders, you want to start with the basics to introduce the topic. First, teach them about maps and globes, cardinal directions, landforms, bodies of water, etc. This will help them understand the essentials as you get more detailed in your lessons. 

After they understand that, try introducing our country and the states. You can teach students where they are located. Make it extra engaging by teaching about the locations of famous landmarks or attractions. Next, get the students involved by asking them about their favorite vacation destination and then finding it on the map together. Geography can be so fun! 

If you are ready to dive into geography with your students, I have THE go-to geography resource for you

geography

My Geography Resource includes 9 weeks of geography lessons and hands-on activities that are perfect for kindergarten or first grade students. It has everything you need including lesson plans covering positional words, landforms, bodies of water, cardinal directions, maps, globes, personal information, and seasonal weather changes. It has crafts, interactive notebook pages, posters, a “Me On The Map” flip book, and a write the room activity. 

geography

Here is a breakdown of the 9 weeks: 

  • Week 1: Positional words to describe locations
  • Week 2: Identify maps and globes
  • Week 3: Cardinal directions
  • Week 4: Identify land and water on a map
  • Week 5: School and community places
  • Week 6: Personal information (phone number and address)
  • Week 7: Landforms
  • Week 8: Bodies of water
  • Week 9: Seasonal Weather

geography

Additionally, you will get posters and directional signs for your classroom, a fun Earth hat, photo instructions of how to put materials together. 

geography

Check it out here!

For more social studies resources, check out my TpT shop! 


 

 

Sight Words Made FUN In Elementary

Learning to read is one of the biggest goals in the early grades. It sets the foundation for their entire education experience! To do this, we start with the basics, letter recognition, letter sounds, blending sounds, etc. Then we move on to a crucial step- sight words!

These words are words that students practice and become so familiar with that they recognize them instantly and don’t need to sound out. This helps them become more comfortable and fluent readers in less time.

But how do we teach students sight words in a way that they will remember?

We practice every day! The more students practice them, the better readers they will become. This can be done by practicing reading them in class, writing them out, creating sight word chants “T-H-E THE” to get stuck in their head, sending home sight word lists for students to go over as homework, and assigning books with sight words in them for students to read.

These are all great ways to practice them on a daily basis. However, if you are looking for something to really take it up a notch, I have you covered. Get students so engaged in learning their sight words that they won’t even realize they are learning because they are having so much fun with my Sight Word Escape Room! 

sight words

This Mystery Sight Words Escape Room is perfect for kindergarten and first-grade students.

sight words

Use these step-by-step instructions to guarantee student engagement while they learn about sight words to solve a classroom mystery. With little prep, your students will work as a team to break into a box, which breaks them out of the classroom as they beat the clock!

Included in this resource you get one PDF file with step-by-step instructions, a link to incorporate a video to hook your students into the mystery, and 3 pre-made clues for your class to solve. The other file is an editable PowerPoint to make it easy for you to add your own team names to personalize the experience and allow the students to take ownership of the lesson. You can also change the mystery letters to create your own sight words, sentences, and riddles.

This escape room is guaranteed to be a hit with your students!

Looking for more fun ways to practice sight words? Check out my post here! 

 What are your favorite sight word activities? Let me know in the comments!