This post originally appeared on the blog Amy Lemons.

This week we started our at-home learning like many of you did. At first the thought of it all was very overwhelming. How can I teach both 5th grade and 1st grade? How do I know what to teach? How do I know what to give them? Then I decided that I was going to go with what I know: Anything I can do with them is better than doing nothing at all. I didn’t want the stress of it all to paralyze me. So, I just pulled out some very simple teaching resources that I’ve had around for YEARS. That’s right… YEARS.

Because, in this scary time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do NOT have to recreate the wheel. The wheel has been rollin’ and working great for a long time now.

Now, before I show you how I am keeping things simple, I need you to know that I am not an expert. Nor do I know if we will keep things this way for the entire time we are at home. But what I do know is that in order for us to GET STARTED, I had to keep things simple. Here’s what we did.

At-Home Learning: Handwriting Practice

I noticed right away that Israel’s handwriting has gotten super sloppy. I’ve had many-a-students over the years who get lazy with their handwriting. And I just can’t accept that from him, ha! Each morning he is starting off with handwriting practice. Thankfully I had these sheets from Rooted in Reading 1st Grade.

At-Home Learning: Math Fact Practice

I thought we could also spend this extra time at home mastering his math facts. So, I plan on Israel doing some sort of simple math fact game or page each day. Next year he will be in 2nd grade, so I know how important those math facts are. For this game you roll dice to create an addition equation. This is a very simple FREEBIE that you can download HERE (The original blog post is HERE).

Joelle was working on her own assignment, but we also had her assist Israel when needed. It’s nice having someone around that can read a word or clarify instructions when needed!

At-Home Learning: Reading and Science

Up next we used Scholastic’s Learn At Home program. Israel listened to a fiction and nonfiction book about spiders, completed a vocabulary game, took a comprehension assessment, and more through their website. He also did a journal entry to go along with it.

At-Home Learning: Writing

The last thing on our list was writing! Well, we also did independent reading, but I didn’t get a picture of that. Israel decided to complete a YOU CHOOSE! writing prompt. “I like drawing because I can draw whatever I want to draw. My favorite thing to draw is superheroes.”

These quick writes can be found HERE.

Joelle chose a persuasive writing prompt. The prompt she chose was “Persuade your parents to buy you something.”

She was all into this writing, ha! Her desire for a phone is no joke! I told her she did a decent job, but she hasn’t convinced me yet 😉

These writing prompts are in all of our Write On units.

And that’s all we did. Until we receive more instructions from their teachers, we are just keeping things very simple. We are reading, writing, and doing math. We are playing a lot. We are going outside as often as possible. We are simply making it work from day to day.



Amy Lemons is an educator who is passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based lessons. Over her past eleven years in the classroom, Amy has been a classroom teacher to fourth, first, and second grade students.