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6 September Activities Your Students Will Love!

September is such a fun month in the classroom! This time of year lays the foundation for success all year long. Plus, it’s the start of the fall season – my favorite! If you’re getting ready for a fun-filled month in your classroom, take a peek at some of my favorite September activities for the first-grade classroom.

What to Teach in September

If you start in mid-late August, that usually means September is a great time to fully cement your routines in the classroom. By this time of year, you’ve likely had the chance to get settled into the classroom and your firsties probably have a good expectation of the rules. If not, make sure to set aside some time each day to focus on one new routine or rule you’d like to help your students master.

Use your September activities to introduce new math and ELA concepts in fun and engaging ways your students will love.

After all, helping students understand classroom expectations is one of the best ways to keep your classroom running smoothly.

Aside from your routines and classroom management, September is a month that is filled with lots of new math and ELA concepts. During the first couple of weeks of school, you’ll likely spend most of your time reviewing kindergarten concepts.

But, once September rolls around, it’s time to focus on first-grade standards! This is really exciting, but it can also feel a bit overwhelming too. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got some simple, tried and true resources that will help streamline lesson planning and ensure your kiddos get the practice they need!

1. Apple Investigation

September is the start of apple season in my book. What better way to kick off your September activities than with a fun and engaging unit all about apples? Apples are a great seasonal theme to use in your lessons during the month of September. We used this theme to focus on some core math and ELA concepts while tying in some science themes too. The apple activities we used include the following:

September activities with an apple twist are sure to be class favorites when using math and ELA concepts to learn all about apples.
  • apple information mini books
  • apple taste test & graphing
  • apple opinion writing activities
  • apple math center
  • apple life cycle activities and more!

We use the mini books to learn new information all about apples and then work on activities that support what we’ve learned and bring in some other skills as well. The apple taste test and graphing activity is always a student favorite. Students will love tasting each type of apple, casting their vote for the best flavor, and then analyzing the data you compile. Anytime you can pull seasonal themes like apples into your September activities, you can count on full engagement from your group!

2. September Activities for Busy Mornings

As I mentioned above, focusing on routines and classroom procedures is a must during the month of September. Since we always started mid-August, my students got a little taste of the expectations during the first couple of weeks, but September is when it really “clicks”.

Use morning work like this as part of your September activities to create a solid morning routine to set your days off right.

If you’re a teacher in the primary classroom, you absolutely need a solid morning routine to tame that beginning-of-the-day chaos.

Setting expectations with routine morning work was one of my favorite ways to ensure that the rest of the day ran smoothly.

There is seriously nothing better than when your students file into the classroom in the morning and know exactly what they need to do! Not to mention, with the right morning work pages, you’ll be able to weave in some math and ELA spiral review first thing in the morning too!

Each month we used a new set of these pages that focused on skills and concepts relevant to what we were learning at the time. During the month of September, our morning work was focused on:

  • adding and subtracting zero, one, two, and three
  • number patterns
  • basic skip counting
  • word families
  • rhyming words
  • short vowels and more

These skills were perfect for helping my students “wake up” their brains and get settled in for a day of learning. These morning work pages also come with a digital option that works within Google Slides. These are perfect for digital homework assignments or for projecting up on the board and correcting them as a class after everyone has finished!

3. Calendar Math

Speaking of routines, do you use calendar math during your morning meeting? If not, you’re in for a real treat! Calendar math is a fantastic way to set a daily routine of practicing some important math skills with your students. Over the years, I’ve found this to be an incredibly helpful way to facilitate key math skills such as:

Calendar math is the perfect addition to your September activities because it gives you a fun way to practice comparing numbers, skip counting, telling time, and more.
  • comparing numbers
  • skip counting
  • telling time
  • place value
  • shapes and more!

Aside from essential math skills, your students will also benefit from dedicated time each morning practicing the days of the week, and the months of the year too! My students always looked forward to calendar math each day. We used the printable set, but this resource also comes with a digital option too, if that’s more your style! Making room for daily calendar math in your September activities is a great way to practice important concepts in a fun way that will capture your students’ attention.

4. Back to School Color by Code

Color by code is one of my absolute favorite ways to practice things like math facts and sight words. We all know that retaining these requires lots of repetition. While flashcards have a place too, using color by code helps make memorizing math facts and sight words a bit more fun! Every month, I used color-by-code pages that aligned with our themes to keep students engaged in the daily practice of these skills.

Back to school color by code sight word activities like these are a great addition to your September activities because they give your students the opportunity to practice identifying and spelling sight words in a creative way.

September is perfect for these Back to School Sight Word Color by Code pages. My favorite thing about these is the editable feature. You can use the pre-made pages with sight words and phonics skills. Or, you can also use the editable version to create your own custom worksheets in seconds!

Fill them with color words, spelling words, vocabulary words, or really anything you’d like to target. The edible options make customization simple and easy.

If your students need practice with addition and subtraction, check out these print-and-go pages for facts through 20. You can use these pages any time of day, but they’re especially nice for last-minute centers, fast-finishers, and no-prep homework.

5. No-Prep Printables for September

Do you ever find yourself in need of some “easy-prep” activities for those fast finishers, or whenever you have a few extra minutes in the day to fill? This was a constant problem for me in the classroom, so much so that I created some no-prep printables for every month. They focus on first-grade math and literacy standards, so they’re a perfect way to keep the learning rolling when you find yourself with some extra time. Our September activities focus on:

  • writing numerals to 20
  • addition with dice
  • 2D and 3D shapes
  • color words
  • rhyming words
  • CVC words and more!

I liked to print off a stack of these at the beginning of each month and keep them in a handy spot. Then, anytime we finished an activity early or needed just one more thing to fill the day, I knew we’d be covered!

If you’d like to test these pages out in your classroom, be sure to snag the free sample of this set too! Use them for fast-finisher activities, assign them as homework, or add them to your independent work time for some meaningful review anytime!

6. Fall Vocabulary BINGO Game

Last, but certainly not least – this one is a student favorite! We played BINGO a lot in my classroom. It’s such a simple activity to explain to young students, and they love any opportunity to play a game. Plus, BINGO was always one of my favorite ways to end a long day in the classroom. If kiddos seem restless and tired, BINGO will save the day!

In September, I loved using this fall BINGO game with my students. The focus is on learning new vocabulary words that will come up in the fall. This game features words like apple, pumpkin, leaf, acorn, and more! To play, each child gets a game board. You can choose a child to be the caller, or you can call out the words. There are 30 different cards included, so you can play as a whole group, or in small group format.

There are 2 options included, one in color and one in black and white. The color option is perfect for laminating and using festive mini erasers as BINGO markers. The black and white set is great for BINGO dauber markers. Once you’ve played as a class, you can even use this activity during centers by choosing a student to be the BINGO caller. Your students will love this festive game to kick off the fall season!

Have Fun Planning Your Own September Activities

Hopefully, you found something new to add to your own lesson plan this year! These September activities are among my favorites, but they’re just the beginning! Check out my TpT Shop if you’re interested in finding some more activities you can add to your plans this month to target specific math and ELA standards! Have fun and happy planning!

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