20 Free Teacher Worksheets to Start the Year


The beginning of the school year is a time of excitement and eagerness to meet your new students. It is also a time of stress and anxiety with EVERYTHING that needs to be done before that first day of teaching. You have a classroom to set up, lessons to plan, and copies to make. Well, I can’t come to your school and set up your class, but I can help you get those lessons planned for the first few weeks. Here are 20 free teacher worksheets to start the year off on the right foot! Make sure you download and print #6 immediately! ?

Free Worksheets 1 – Morning Meeting Slides

How are you going to start your morning every day? These slides can easily be displayed while your students answer the prompts in notebooks. They will get to practice math, word work, phonics, writing, and social & emotional skills every week. It is a great way to get to know your students and build classroom community by discussing responses to these daily questions. If you don’t want to display the slides, you can print them as well for students to answer.

Grab the K/1 Set here, or for the older grades, we have a 2/3 set as well.

2 – Printable Morning Work

If displaying slides every morning isn’t for you, here are two weeks of printable morning work for grades kinder-2nd. This freebie is definitely a lifesaver. Just print ?, make your copies, and have your first two weeks of morning work all done! Each page builds upon the skills of the previous ones and gives your students math, phonics, and writing warm-ups every day.

3 – Fluency & Comprehension Passages

Do you need some fluency and comprehension passages to get your reading small groups started? Or, you could use these as a quick and easy pre-assessment to see where your students’ fluency skills are. Maybe you are looking for some beginning-of-the-year fluency homework. Each grade level set has different passages with corresponding comprehension questions for every passage. Click the grade level link to get your passages today!

Free Worksheets 4 – Alphabet Booklets

Preschool and kindergarten teachers, this one is for you! While learning letters of the alphabet, your students can use these booklets to “read” words that begin with that particular letter. Each letter has three different booklets, so you can differentiate for your students. And there is no need to cut and staple. Your students can fold these booklets themselves! Try out letters A, B, and C with this set of free teacher worksheets.

5 – Sight Word Booklets and Passages

If your students are beyond learning letters of the alphabet, maybe these sight word booklets would be better for them. Each booklet focuses on one of Fry’s first 300 sight words. Practice sight word identification, fluency, and comprehension with either the foldable booklets or the one-page passages. Your students will also be excited to take home their own mini-book to read to a loved one at home. Grab four of these best-selling booklets here. ?

6 – 1:1 Math Centers

By far one of the most popular freebies that we have, these 1:1 centers will help you get your small group math centers done in a flash!? All you have to do is print out the worksheets, add in the necessary manipulative, and hand it off to your students. They can work on these individually if you still are not allowed to share materials in class, or you can have these at your math centers. Teachers have loved these so much that we created a second set of no prep centers. Grab the freebie for those here. ⭐️

Free Worksheets 7 – Phonics Booklets and Poems

Teaching phonics is a necessity during your reading blocks. We can help you get your phonics worksheets printed and ready to go for the start of the school year. This freebie set focuses on the five short vowel sounds. Each booklet covers one of the sounds, and the poems complement the booklets. Use these as independent practice, small group activities, or homework.

8 – Phonics Posters

With the teaching of short vowels in your classroom, we also want to give you phonics posters that you can put on your walls, use as small cards during your small groups, or charts to have when you teach certain sounds during whole group.

9 – Open House Tags

How are you going to welcome your students to your classroom? We have a few different options you can use that are super cute!!! Use these tags with bags of popcorn, goldfish, sunglasses, or bottles of bubbles. Your students will LOVE their special welcome gift! ?


Free Worksheets 10 – Daily Editing Printables

Start your writing block with a quick daily editing activity. These quick paragraph editing mats will help your students understand different editing marks and be able to use them within the written text.

11 – Journal Prompts

Want a quick no-prep way to set up your students for journaling success? Try our Journal Prompts sampler. Included will be 5 different prompts your students can easily read and write about. Each journal entry has 3 different versions. You can display the prompt digitally on your Smartboard, or use one of the two printable versions. One has illustrated vocabulary words to help students get started and the other just has the prompt with lines to write. If you love it, you can grab the full bundle, which has 180 different daily prompts for the ENTIRE school year!

12 – Directed Drawings

This is a freebie your students will be begging to do day after day! Hook them into the learning by drawing fun and simple 6-step images, then adding to the scenery. After they draw their picture, they get to write about it, use new image-specific vocabulary, and practice essential phonics skills. Win-win for you both… they are having fun, and you are fostering learning and enjoying a lil’ bit of quiet time. You can also grab another set of directed drawings from our first volume here. ✍️


New Directed Drawings! Happy Friday y’all 😍 #educationtothecore #tiktokteacher #teachersoftiktok #teachersontiktok

♬ Smile Keeper – bryan.

Free Worksheets 13 – I Have, Who Has? Card Games

Games + Academics! Score!!! Your students have to practice critical listening skills along with essential ELA and math skills while playing a fun game. Can they make it from the first player to the last without any mistakes? It is definitely a challenge that your students will want to play again and again.

14 – Summer Color by Number

Need a quieter activity to settle your students when they come back from recess or specials? Put one of these color by number worksheets at each students’ seat and they can quietly color while practicing math and ELA skills. We also have activities for Fall, Winter, and Spring

Free Worksheets 15 – 2 Week Activity Packets

These were originally created with Distance Learning quarantining in mind, but now they can just be used to help you plan a couple of weeks of your instruction. Based on the beginning of the year skills for each of the grade levels, these free teacher worksheet packets are full of activities for phonics, math, writing, and word work. 

16 – Grammar Interactive Notebooks

Put some fun in your grammar instruction with our interactive notebook freebie. Your students can cut, glue, and learn all at the same time. And with the notebook, they have a reference tool to look at when working on their writing assignments.

17 – STEM Challenges

STEM allows you to take a break for a bit and be a facilitator and not have to be on center stage. It is a great way for your students to practice their problem-solving skills while working with their classmates. We have a few fun free worksheets that will help you incorporate STEM into your classroom.

Free Worksheets 18 – Transformation Station

Let’s just say that we combined our journal prompts with directed drawings to create this awesome freebie! You will be amazed at the pictures your students create from one little shape or squiggle. Then watch it come alive through their written story.


They. Love. Transformation Stations. 🤩 #teachersoftiktok #teachersontiktok #tiktokteacher

♬ Big And Chunky – Juanito T

Free Worksheets 19 – Gratitude Journal

If you teach older students, this journal is absolutely AMAZING! It has 30 days of gratitude prompts your students can write about. This set of free teacher worksheets is a great way to foster classroom community and develop higher-level thinking in your students.

20 – Back to School Checklist

We want to help make sure that your new school year is a success! This Editable Back to School Checklist includes pages for you to get organized with all of the to-dos you have to do before the students arrive at school. With this freebie being editable, you can add your own items, or use some of the ones we’ve added to the list. The possibilities to organize are endless! ?

You can grab these freebies and thousands of other printables by becoming a member of Education to the Core Premium! Try it out for free and download any 3 worksheets every month, or upgrade and have access to them all.

Start your year off planned and prepped with all of these free teacher worksheets from Education to the Core. We know that you will definitely want to grab the full bundles (or access them on membership anytime you want) to complete the rest of your school year. After you use these, please let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. ? Happy planning and best wishes on an amazing school year!!!

Written by – Janessa Fletcher

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.