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Contractions Teaching Tips for First Grade

Contractions can be a tough skill for students to master! The first time you teach contractions, your students may not master them. I believe it takes time, and a variety of teaching methods to help students truly understand contractions and how to use them! Today, I am sharing four teaching tips for helping students master contractions in your classroom!

Contractions Songs

Anytime I can slip a catchy song into our learning is a win! Jack Hartman has a way for making tricky concepts more accessible.

This is another fun song {but it’s a little fast so introduce it once your students are more comfortable with contractions. I bet you start singing it!

Hands-On Practice

For primary students, any activity that allows them to use a manipulative or tool is going to be a winner! There are so many ways to practice contractions outside of simply doing worksheets. For example, I love to give students index cards with two words on them. Students can cut the letters that are dropped when a contraction is formed, and draw an apostrophe in its place!

Another great hands-on activity is ‘Scooping Up Contractions’. In this activity, students match words to the contraction on an ice cream sundae! This is a great way to get those kinesthetic learners putting their hands on words to deepens understanding. A worksheet is included if you want to have your students show what they did.

You can grab this activity free HERE!


Like with all skills, the more our students see something, the more likely they are to remember it! This is absolutely the case with contractions. When you first introduce them, work them into your center work, small group, morning work, etc. for a few weeks to help cement your teaching!

One of my favorite activities for classroom practice is Contractions on the Bus.

This activity can be used in small groups or for students to work on independently. And gives students a chance to practice forming contractions over and over again. This repetition will boost student understanding!

Contractions Spiral Review

Once you have worked on one skill for a while, you will need to make space in your classroom for other skills. But, every now and then, pull out a contractions game for a spiral review.

One of our favorite activities is Shark Attack! These fast-paced games {which come with several speed options} make reviewing contractions fun!

If your students love these games {and you love no-prep activities!} you may want to check out Beat the Clock Contractions for another review activity

Practicing skills at the end of the year is a great way to help students prepare for the next grade. And, it cuts down on your planning time! If you laminate the centers you make throughout the year, they are easy to pull back out when you need them next!

Using these tips, your students are sure to become contraction masters!

Happy teaching!

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