No Prep ~ Let's Call It What It Is...

Worksheets! Yep, you read it right, I said that "No Prep" is a fancy way of saying "worksheets". Many sellers on TPT create resources that can help students in many ways and call it "no prep", but I see through it. I see what it really is!
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

The other day I spent some quality time with some first and second graders while their teacher performed required reading assessments. To make it easy for me, she had them working on some word study activities, which they desperately need. We started with a sort and then moved on to some activity pages to complete.

Here are some of the things they worked on while I was in there.
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

They looked a lot like some worksheets I have out of a book for first graders.
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!


No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!


Yes, there is value in it. They are practicing, learning, and reading. But is it really the best practice? Or is it really "no prep"?

Not really to both! Why?!

Best practice would have been using real books or doing authentic activities with the students. They could have been talking through the activities with small groups or the teacher.

And "no prep"?? There was prep involved. The teacher had to decide which pages to use. Those pages had to be copied, collated, and stapled. And think about the copies! When "no prep" {worksheets} are made, an entire tree is sometimes.

How can we really get "no prep" in a crunch time? There are so many different ways to make it work. I remember once when we had no power, I had to really think of some no prep ideas for my classroom full of 3rd graders. Here are some great and truly NO PREP activities for your students!

Games! Don't feel bad that you may have purchased games from a catalog. They are just as good as those we create ourselves, especially when we need something "no prep"! I keep games on hand for any time when I need them. You can even get them up and moving with some flash cards you have on hand. Prep: DONE!
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

Books! Get out a picture book and read it. We can always stop at different places and discuss. We are good at this. I can make any book work for just about any skill. And think about what they are learning from that reading time with you. You could even have them complete a simple writing activity that models or is about the book. Or you could have your students spend some quality time reading. Just reading. Prep: DONE!
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

Poetry! I would always need time fillers, especially at the end of the school year. I always kept a poetry book and some plain paper on hand. I would read a poem and have the students draw a picture of what they visualized. Then they would share. Or, the students could simply write about how they felt while the poem was being read. Prep: DONE!
No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!

No prep means different things to different teachers in the classroom. Three different alternatives to worksheets will help you in your "no prep" classroom!
Here is a picture of a creature a student drew after I read a poem to students.
Regardless of what a product says, there will be prep involved. We all have to have something ready and up our sleeves at any given moment, but we can't always get to the copier to grab our copies off of it or allow our students to sit and work on worksheets all day long. There is a time and a place for worksheets, but don't make it a practice. Find time to incorporate some truly no prep activities in your day!

What are some fun and easy "no prep" activities you have used in your classrooms?

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