HI! I will be teaching only grade 1 Math this year and will have a partner teacher teaching the other subjects. As I will start the day, I will need to do attendance, collect mail bags, folders, etc. As these housekeeping items will happen each morning, and will probably take 5-7 minutes, I need some meaningful independent activities. What suggestions do you have to start the morning off that is not just wasted time? I was thinking to have file folder games on their desks or some time of independent tub activities.. any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for any suggestions....

I used to do color pictures. Like number and color. As we got further into math we would do solve and colors. I would also do dot to dots and color. Number pattern work is good as well. I went easy at the beginning not knowing where everyone's skill level was. I think I did a fill in sheet of counting.

What about a daily counting jar to reinforce counting by 1's, 10's, 5's etc? Students count the items in the jar, then write on a sticky note: Name, the number, and draw a pictorial representation of the number. Then they stick it to a "counting jar" poster. It is easy to set up and vary and it is a great daily formative assessment.

You could rotate an activity so you are only planning one a week. For instance, table one writes their numbers, table 2 plays math games, table three does Xtramath on the computer, table does a math worksheet. Then they rotate and you only have to change out the game and worksheets every so often.

Since this is the beginning of grade 1, I would put out tubs of manipulatives (1 per table group) to let students explore and play with. You'll be amazed at the math they do on their own! I would also have a bin of math books for students to look at.

It would be a great warm-up to your math lesson to have either tubs of manipulatives out or a math game that could be played in partners. For 1st this could something as simple as rolling two dice and adding them together, war with playing cards or race to 120 on a hundreds board!