Back to School Literacy and Math Centers {freebies too}

Hey!!!!!  So, I just got home and refreshed after meet the teacher night!  I was already excited about the new year and now I am even more excited!  I know it is going to be an awesome year 🙂  I am quickly realizing how hard it it to juggle all of our duties when we don’t have the luxury of summer 😉

I took a bit of time before school started to fill my literacy and math center tubs!  I had several requests to know what I would be starting the year out with so here it is….


We all love a little Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for back to school time! For this literacy center students cut out the letters of the alphabet and glue them on their palm tree.  I like to show the students an example of the finished product along with leaving the book in the basket for students to read through!  This literacy center is part of my Literacy Centers Super Pack #1.

Up next is a super “fun” literacy center.  SHH…don’t tell the kids they can learn paths of movement while using cars!  That is a double scoop of awesome there!  For this center I printed out the cards on cardstock and laminated for durable use.  My cars are from the Dollar Tree!  This year I am trying something knew {I have went back and forth on this so many times} by laminating the recording sheet.  Students will re-use the sheet to same on paper!  I have placed a dry-erase marker and “eraser” for the each basket.  This activity is part of my August Taking Back Weekends packet!

Another fun and engaging alphabet activity!  For this activity students will match the capital and lowercase letters.  They place the lowercase apple into the capital letter basket.  For this center I have also laminated the recording sheet for repeated use.  This activity is also in my August Taking Back packet!

Below is a look at how I organize my literacy center baskets!

And another shot of how I organize my Daily Five material.  Top row is listening to read, next row down are my literacy center baskets, then writing center baskets, and last are my supply tubs.

Now to a look at my math centers!   Below is a look at my math centers!  I have 8 tubs that I use.  You can click below to grab these freebie math center labels!

Alrighty, let’s get started …

TUB #1

How about some adorable FREEBIE play dough shape mats?  Confessions of a homeschooler offer these play dough mats for free!  They are perfect for those little ones at the start of the year…making a play dough snake is surprisingly not a standard, but an important life skill!  Grab the freebie HERE!

TUB #2
The next few centers are hands-on and work closely with fine motor skills…a much needed practice skill for back to school.  For this center students use the clothes pin/tongs to place the “seeds” on each apple.  Just like with my literacy centers I have placed my math blackline masters into a sheet protector for repeated use.  This math center is part of my August Taking Back Weekends packet.

TUB #3
Another fine motor practice center!  Students again use clothespins or tongs to place the correct number of apples onto the apple tree.  Another August packet center! 🙂

TUB #4

More path of movement practice with cars?  Yes, please!  Students will practice the correct path of movements for numbers 0-10 using cars.  They will follow up with the hands-on activities by tracing the numbers with their dry-erase markers.  Find this too in my august packet!

TUB #5

This center requires students to build upon their one to one counting skills along with number writing!  For this blackline master I printed on cardstock and then cut out the pieces for students to manipulate!  Can you believe it ANOTHER center from my August packet!

TUB #6

A quick, easy, and cheap math center!  Continuing with fine motor skills students use clothes pins to “transport” fuzzy poms from the bucket to the muffin pan!  All materials seen below are from Dollar Tree!

TUB #7

Keeping with the apple theme…love this center!  I mean the realistic apples are not necessary but they are so much fun!  I also snagged them at the Dollar Tree!  Find this math center along with an endless list of hands-on math centers in my Math Centers Super Packet #3!

TUB #8

Another darlin freebie from Confessions of a Homeschooler!  Students work with pattern blocks to build patterns!  Such a fun and guided math center…perfect for the start of the year!  Grab the free HERE.

And a final few of my math tubs!

I hope you discovered a few ideas you can whip up for your math tubs!  I will be sharing my updated math tubs/literacy centers as I change them throughout the year!  Enjoy your week…and have a super-duper back to school!


  1. Tara I love all of your stuff and I will be checking out the August packet! How do you deal with students coming into K already reading and have mastered basic letter and number skills? Do you have separate centers for them or do they work in the same centers as everyone else? Also, do you have a post that explains how you set up your centers and rotate your class?

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