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19 Classroom Activities for September


Overwhelmed! Exhausted! So much to do! Send help! And it is only September! Are you even a teacher if you are not feeling any of those at the start of the school year? ETTC educators have been there! We feel your tiredness in the posts and emails we receive! Now ETTC is here to help! We have so many September activities that you can easily plug into your lesson plans! Let us help you start this school year with some awesome September activities that require very little of your time to implement right away. Here are 19 September Activities for the Classroom. I think that you are going to love #7!

1. Building Word Identification Confidence with Colors

How many of you read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (aff) at the beginning of the school year? It is an excellent introduction to identifying colors and color words. Your students most likely know colors but may not be able to recognize the words. After we have read the story a few times during the first week of school, I check to see if my students can apply what we have been learning. With this trace and color activity, you can test color recognition, fine motor, tracing, and word recognition all in one. I have it pictured in a dry-erase sleeve to show that you can save on copies and make it part of a center!


2. September School Supplies to Learn Syllables

The beginning of the school year also brings working on foundational phonemic awareness skills. One of those is syllable segmentation. The whole group activities I like to use are clapping syllables, tapping syllables, and even jumping syllables in words. After we have used our gross motor skills to practice segmenting syllables, I like to do a syllable sort worksheet as an entire group! The activity pictured below combines cutting, gluing, and sorting as you work on syllables in small or whole groups. And by using school supply pictures, your students will most likely have an easy time identifying the words.


3. School Supply Word Identification

Following a back-to-school theme is key as it helps your students become familiar with classroom items and locations. Do you label areas in your classroom? Or perhaps you have labels where you want students to return supplies or other daily-use items? Your students will have to be able to identify the words and pictures on the labels to follow these procedures. Once again, you can engage your students in an activity that involves coloring, cutting, and gluing. I like to use a label the school supplies printable to help my students identify the words associated with the objects.

This activity is also an opportune time to go over the rules on using scissors and glue as they demonstrate their skill levels in these critical areas! Pair this activity with another one on what items should be brought to school and which ones need to stay home. This way, you save yourself time having to talk with individual students about what is appropriate to bring to school.


4. Make Sight Word Practice Fun!

The summer slide is so REAL for kids! Have you tried introducing sight words again, and some of your students respond like it is a brand-new concept? Are they getting tired of the rote memorization that is sight word practice? You can only say, spell, and write words so many times before you’ve had enough!

Take sight word practice to a more engaging level by mixing things up a bit. This coloring by sight words activity page allows kids to practice sight words differently. It is also a quick way to assess whether they remember those beginning sight words they learned in kindergarten! You can see if they followed the coloring code provided with a quick glance at the page!

5. Counting by 5s Classroom Practice

Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s are critical skills for 1st grade as students need many strategies when adding and subtracting those larger numbers. Although it was introduced in kinder, some of my firsties need extra practice with counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.

You can incorporate the whole class while you practice these skills. Have all of your students sit in a circle. Start with one of your students saying the first number when counting by ___. Then moving clockwise around the circle, each subsequent student will say the next number in the series. Continue counting around the circle until an incorrect number is said. (Note: Do this activity a few times so students can practice saying different numbers in the series.)

I love to use thematic sheets like this Owl Counting By Fives activity sheet as a follow-up to this lesson. It is a great way to engage your students as they learn or refresh their skills. I also include plenty of visuals in the classroom or their resource binders so they can complete the activities with visual assistance if necessary!

6. Assessing Multiple Skills: ABC Order

September is a time when you are assessing to understand students’ skill levels as you prepare to make some important grouping decisions. I love to use activity pages that can look at more than one skill at a time. With this ABC Order activity page, you have the opportunity to work on ABC order, writing skills, and word recognition skills. 


7. September Time Capsule: Getting to Know Your Students

Getting to know your students is no easy task when you have a class full of firsties! They have so many stories they can’t wait to share with me! Using a Time Capsule Activity is excellent for finding out more about each student in a productive manner. I have my kiddos do these sheets, then I stash them away, usually buried in a file folder in my drawer! It is especially fun when I pull it out again at the end of the school year and see how their answers have changed!

8. Provide Differentiation through Multiple Outputs

In September, some of my students can excel at double digits, while others definitely need hands-on ten blocks and a little assistance. Since working with ten blocks and 2-digit numbers will be central to the 2nd-grade math work this school year, I like introducing activities that allow differentiation based on individual needs.

This 2-Digit Drawing worksheet allows my high flyers to complete independent work while some of my other students receive some small group or 1:1 teacher time. Either way, pulling out crayons and ten block sets in my room is engagement on high!

9. Identifying Shape Attributes

Do your students struggle when it comes to talking about shape attributes? Do they get hung up when you move past the four common shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle)? Need a quick review before going deeper and discussing vertices, plane versus solid, etc.? Have your students review the number of sides with a few new shapes added into the mix, such as trapezoids, pentagons, and rhombuses.

With this geometry page, you can teach your students how they can identify different shapes by counting the sides. You can bring this activity to life by including hands-on geometrical shapes.

10. September Activities for Themed-Learning

Suppose you love following a theme each month (I sure do!) and having these themes be cross-curricular. In that case, you probably spend tons of time gathering and piecing together resources to include a variety of ELA skills. I like to include books, vocabulary, and writing activities that follow a theme, but I rarely have time to create everything for my whole and small groups.

For my whole group time, I introduce the vocabulary words for our theme and read related books that help cement the learning. When I break into small groups, I focus on more individual reading and scaffolded writing. Mini-Books make this much easier for me as they include everything I am looking for! No more spending hours piecing together well-rounded thematic ELA materials!

11. Spelling Activities to Match My September Themes!

Sticking with using themes cross-curricular, I love building a more robust spelling and writing vocabulary for my students. I typically create individual worksheets with whatever theme we follow each month. I type in my own words and print off the pages I want to use. Then, off to make all of the copies. I think my students become more engaged when my theme pops up during word work time!


12. Holiday Spelling Activities for September!

The printed pages around the holidays each month, including Grandparent’s Day and other holidays that don’t get enough curricula attention, are typically scattered in my multiple holiday folders! As each holiday approaches, I have to search my many folders to find the holiday I am looking for. With a digital editable resource, every spelling holiday activity I need can be tucked away in one “easy-to-find” packet. No more searching through folders to find those holiday-specific word work activities.

13. Building Community during Back to School

It’s a new school year with new students and that means building a whole new classroom community. You have to teach your students to be responsible citizens within your classroom and school. The best way to do this is through activities that teach citizenship and community.

You can use group discussions and lessons that teach your students the important components of being a good citizen. I also like to include craftivities I can use to decorate my bulletin boards and read-alouds that can model the topic and provide additional information.

Incorporate activities that allow your students to get to know their new classmates and find things that they have in common and those that make them unique.

Important to note — make sure that you involve yourself in these activities too, as your students want to know details about you too.


14. Word Work is Huge for September Activities

In my room, we spend a lot of time doing word work at the beginning of the year. In my centers, I keep magnetic letters for building words, flip books to create to work on word families, and dry-erase boards for students to write the room. During small groups, we complete word centers by doing word ladders–deleting and adding sounds, practicing rhyming words, and doing sound mapping activities.

I enjoy using hands-on center activities to keep my students engaged and motivated. And, I can review the lessons I just taught and offer additional practice and repetition! An activity I do in centers and in my small groups is word building with onset & rime. The students pair the onset with the rime and then write their answers. Students can do this independently, partner with a peer, or follow along as I guide them.

15. How To Writing

Have you all done the activity yet with your students of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches according to the directions they give you? I do this group activity every year to show the importance of clear, specific details when directing someone else. The kids giggle and try to correct me as I make some sandwiches exactly how they tell me!

As a follow-up activity, specifically, how to make a sandwich, kids focus on reading the given steps and then answer the corresponding questions. You can add a variety of how-to passages in a literacy center to help them better understand the importance of explicit details when giving directions! Extend the learning by having your students write their own set of directions on a given topic!

16-19. Building Fluency from Day 1

We all know how vital fluency is to reading–fluency development is directly related to comprehension. Our students can better comprehend what they read if they can read with prosody, expression, and appropriate pacing. Also, every benchmark assessment will measure progress by how fluently a student will read!

I know my students need various text types at their reading level and tons of practice! I do have multiples of many readers that I can use to improve fluency, but for each one, I have to create word counts, tracking sheets, and comprehension questions. My students practice and practice and practice some more–independently reading, reading to a partner, or participating in small groups. With all this practice, it is much easier to use pre-created passages for fluency. AND THEY ARE THEMED FOR EACH MONTH!

You may need multiple levels of passages, both fiction and non-fiction, and with word counts and questions ready to go! I put passages for each month in different binders and sleeves so that students can practice reading to one another and me. The students love using my minute sand timers to track their progress!

2nd-Grade Fluency Activities

3rd-Grade Fluency Activities


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Written by: Suzanne Kelley


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