My Favorite September Activities for First Grade

September is one of my favorite months of the year in the first-grade classroom. Where I live, we usually start back to school around mid-August. By September, we've covered all the routines, and my brand-new firsties are finally starting to get the hang of things. During the month of September, we also get started with some fun topics that lay the foundation for our year. Come along for a peek into my lesson plan book to see what I like to teach in September! 

Plan out fun learning activities for your students for the month of September to get everyone ready for an awesome school year.

Planning September Activities 

In my classroom, I typically use the same activities each year during September. There might be a few new additions, but generally, I have my tried and true favorites. 

Planning September activities is easy-peasy with these exciting resources you and your students will love.

When you're getting ready to sit down and plan your September activities, you'll want to consider what you're looking to target. In my room, we touch on a few things that help set the tone for the year, including an introduction to daily math, beginning grammar, beginning phonics, and an introduction to social studies. 

I have one resource from each of these categories that I love to use year after year in September with my firsties. Ready for the details? Let's plan together!

1. Write the Room: Kindergarten Review 

The beginning of the year is a great time to brush up on all the things your students focused on in kindergarten. After all, we all know the summer slide is all too real! One of my favorite ways to review is with Write the Room activities focused on kindergarten review. 

These activities help focus on kindergarten phonics and math topics such as counting, letter sounds, number sequence, alphabet sequence, and basic addition. Since all of these skills will lay the foundation for what we're working on throughout our year, reviewing them is a MUST! This resource includes 3 different recording sheets as well, so you can differentiate easily or use this activity more than once. 

Write the room activities like these are great for September because they give you the opportunity to practice new skills while also giving your students the opportunity to move around to get our their "wiggles".

Not to mention, Write the Room is an activity we use all year long in my classroom, so the sooner my kiddos learn the process, the better! The very first time you use Write the Room activities with your first-grade students, allow yourself a little extra time. This is a great opportunity to teach students your expectations with these activities. If you'd like to see how I teach and structure this activity, be sure to check out this post for an in-depth look. 

2. Daily Math: Month 1

Next, let's chat a little bit about daily math. In my classroom, we work on number sense every single day using my daily math activities and base ten blocks. For month 1, these activities focus on numbers 1-10 to practice tens and ones. The worksheets and center activities cover tens frames, number bonds, number lines, and more. 

Students will start out working with number mats and base ten blocks in small groups or centers. We work on building the numbers through hands-on learning activities. We start with numbers 1-20, but as the children progress with these skills, the numbers get bigger throughout the year. 

Use these daily math activities as part of your September Activities for first grade to help your students practice and review key concepts.

This resource also includes a daily worksheet for extending the practice. We use these during our morning warm-up period. Each child has a box of base ten blocks to help them independently complete the activities at their desk. For more info on how I set this up, be sure to check out this post!

I love using these daily math lessons in our September activities since it's an easy way to ensure my students have dedicated time working on number sense daily. Since this is such a big topic for first-grade learning goals, including it in our lessons right off the bat is essential! 

3. Common Nouns Grammar Activities 

Another one of my September activities that always makes the cut are these common noun lessons. This resource is the perfect introduction to grammar for the month of September. Many of my grammar lessons follow the same teaching format, so I love starting with this one to familiarize my kiddos with what to expect in our classroom.

Include these common nouns worksheets and activities in your September activities as you begin first grade this year.

We start out with a whole group lesson introducing nouns. We define nouns, and I provide some examples on a colored poster. Sometimes I'll also make an anchor chart, and kiddos follow along with their own copy of the poster that they get to color in. After our introduction, we split into small groups and work on a sorting activity to categorize nouns by person, place, thing, or animal.

Also included in this unit, you'll find 2 games that are perfect for practicing common nouns during center time, as well as a variety of no-prep printable worksheets. We use these activities throughout the week in class. I also assign the worksheets as homework to help students master common nouns. 

4. Short Vowel CVC Words 

During the month of September, my firsties are just getting their feet wet with phonics. That's why I love to use these short vowel CVC word activities to help show them how phonics can be fun! This resource is a perfect addition to our September activities as we dive into daily phonics practice. 

Most of my first-grade students have likely worked with some of these words towards the end of kindergarten, so this is a great way to review and boost their confidence in beginning reading skills. There are so many fun activities included in this resource to use in a variety of ways. 

Short vowel and CVC word resources like these will help get in extra review for your first graders and are great additions to your September activities.

We use the sorting activities in small groups and centers to familiarize students with common CVC words. They choose a card, read the word, and then sort it into the correct category by vowel. There's also a recording sheet included where they can write down their answers. 

We also use word-building activities to help students practice making these short vowel words on their own. These are great activities to use during small groups and centers as we learn new words. Finally, we finish these activities with various no-prep worksheets for extra practice. I love using these as independent learning assignments and homework activities. 

5. Citizenship Activities 

Next on my list is my favorite September activity - our Citizenship unit! I don't know about you, but social studies might be one of my favorite topics to teach in first grade. Firsties are just so fascinated by the world around them, and our social studies topics always make for highly-engaging lessons. 

During September, we start our social studies lesson by learning all about good citizenship, rules and laws, and leaders in our community. This introduction to social studies is one of my favorite lessons out of the whole year since it helps set the tone and build community in our classroom early on. 

Citizenship activities like these are always great, but they are the perfect addition to your September activities as you help your students learn about how to be awesome citizens at home, in their neighborhood, and even in your classroom.

These lessons are designed to work in whole-group teaching formats and in small groups, so I use a mix of both when I begin. Typically, we'll start in a whole group setting, defining these topics and creating a little booklet about good citizenship. Next, we'll split into small groups and centers to work on sorting activities, worksheets, and center games focused on citizenship topics. 

The best part of this unit is finishing it off with a writing craft mobile. Each child will work on writing down ways they can be good citizens at home, at school, and in their community. This craft is a student favorite, and they are SO cute when displayed around the classroom! Read more about how to use these activities in this post. 

6. Sight Word Practice Activities 

Another important thing we start focusing on in September is sight words. Your new firsties will likely be familiar with the practice of memorizing sight words from kindergarten. I like to spend the first month or so reviewing the target words they learned last year. You can gauge how much of this practice your group needs and move on when they are ready. This might also be something you differentiate by small group as well to meet everyone's needs. 

Since sight word mastery can get a little boring if you're not careful, I like to approach this topic a couple of ways. We use simple sight word worksheets like these every week. I like them because they follow a predictable format that helps foster independence during those early months in the classroom. We use them during centers, as morning work, and they make a great homework activity too. Once kiddos have mastered the kindergarten words, we move on to some new first-grade words to keep the ball rolling. 

Use digital activities like these to keep sight word practice as you plan your September activities for first grade.

Another way we approach sight words is with Boom Card activities. Boom Cards are always well-received in the first-grade classroom since they follow a game-like format that students love. If you're looking to add some interest to your sight word practice and keep students engaged, digital activities like these are a great way to do so! 

7. Teen Numbers Game for September 

Another fun September activity to include in your lesson planning is this Spill the Crayons Teen Numbers Game. This is another resource that focuses on a review of kindergarten math standards and is a great way to start the year. Don't Spill the Crayons is an easy-prep math game that helps students work on counting teen numbers with objects, tens blocks, tens frames, and expanded form. 

Use a fun game like Spill the Crayons to help teach your students teen numbers as you plan your September activities for first grade.

This game is flexible too, so you can pick and choose which cards to include in order to make it fit the needs of your specific group. Add more cards as the month progresses and students get better with this topic. I love to introduce this game in my small group as a fun way to add some in community building with number sense practice. 

Once students know how to play this game, it's the perfect activity to assign during math centers for students to play in small groups of their own! 

8. Back to School Writing Memory Book & Craft

Last, but certainly not least, let's chat about my favorite memory book activity for September. I'm a big fan of functional crafts that also help target a specific skill. We all know there is limited time in our day, but I have found that squeezing in some kind of craft is something I never regret! Students love to participate in these and it helps to keep them engaged in learning. Not to mention, parents always appreciate these keepsakes! 

This back-to-school bundle includes a couple of activities that are perfect to complete before your back-to-school night event. Included in this resource, you'll find a fun safari-themed interactive memory book for students to fill out. The topics include things like information about their school, their teacher, what students want to learn, and more. Have students work on these prior to the open house, and then leave them on the students' desks for parents to flip through the night of the event. 

Use a back to school writing bundle for tons of fun ideas to get your kids excited about writing not to mention a few adorable keepsakes parents will love as well.

This bundle also comes with a craft that makes the perfect display for your classroom bulletin board. This easy prep craft is simple for students to build on their own, so you'll be able to squeeze this into your day without making a big fuss. Keeping in line with the safari theme, students will get to make their own explorer that holds up a fun writing prompt. There are a few to choose from to allow for some variety among your students. These look fantastic displayed for your open house event, and parents will love seeing what their student wrote about!

Planning Your Own September Activities

These are just a few of my favorite September activities to include. Still, they can vary from year to year, depending on the learners in my room that year. Typically though, I like to keep the same framework in mind for touching on daily math, beginning phonics, beginning grammar, writing, and social studies. 

Choosing a few fun and engaging activities from each category helps ensure a well-rounded curriculum plan for the month. Don't forget to squeeze in a craft too - choosing crafts that help target specific skills is always worth it when it comes to maintaining student interest all year long!

You and your students are sure to love these September activities to use in your classroom this year.

If you're looking for even more ideas to help plan your September activities, be sure to check out my TpT Shop. If you need more advanced phonics activities, next-level math, or a different social studies topic, I've got you covered! Take a peek and get started planning a fun-filled September for your students!

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Don't forget to pin this post on Pinterest to keep these September activities handy! 

Use these September activities to get learning off to a great start in your classroom this year. From CVC words to math review, these activities will keep your kids busy and excited about learning and reviewing key skills and concepts as they head back to the classroom this September. Be sure to check out the Chocolate Teacher TPT shop for even more exciting and engaging activities you can use in your first grade classroom this year. #thechocolateteacher #backtoschoolactivities #septemberactivitiesforfirstgrade #firstgradeactivitiesforbacktoschool #septemberlessonideasforelementarystudents

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