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Daily Starters

Launch the day with short, engaging questions and facts.


PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Scholastic Daily Starters are short language arts and math questions, plus fun facts and teachable moments, packaged together in one easy-to-use page that changes every school day.

The Daily Starters can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Project the day's Daily Starters on a whiteboard for students to do when they first walk in the classroom or as a meeting-time warm-up activity. Start up classroom computers with the Daily Starter page, or print hard copies for students to work on individually or with partners. Or use the language arts or math questions for small group instruction to review grammar, vocabulary, or math skills.

Topics Covered

Daily Starter strands and scope and sequence for language arts and math are drawn from Common Core State Standards. Most features and skills are for review. Some features are designed to preview skills to come, or fun things to know. All features and skills are designed to stimulate thinking, and give students an upbeat, successful experience first thing in the morning.

You can start Daily Starters any week of school. A new Daily Starter is available every day, but you can also view a handful of past and future Starters at any given time.

Daily Starters for each grade cluster are age-appropriate activities in language arts and math, plus a fun fact and teachable moment. The questions and facts are adjusted for each grade cluster's reading ability and skill level. PreK–K does not include a teachable moment, and 6–8 does not include a math question.

Fun Fact and Teachable Moment topics include science, health, art (Before erasers, people used piece of bread!), sports (basketball), animals (sharks, chipmunks), famous people (Johnny Appleseed, Dr. Seuss), seasonal topics, and more. Teachable Moments are usually more history-based, while Fun Facts explore everyday objects and science.

Sample Fun Fact Topics Sample Teachable Moment Topics
  • Apple peels
  • Baby sharks
  • Feelings
  • Crayons
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Basketball
  • Johnny Appleseed
  • Popsicles
  • Sneezes
  • Milk
  • Baseball
  • Skateboards
  • Zoos
  • Blue jeans
  • Inventor of the smiley face graphic
  • Jacks
  • Summer vacations
  • Presidential pets
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Little League

Grade Clusters

Find the Daily Starters for your class in these four grade clusters:

Scope and Sequence by Grade Cluster

Daily Starter strands, scope, and sequence for Language Arts and Math are drawn from Common Core State Standards. The Grades 6–8 cluster is formatted differently to focus on older students' writing and language skills.


The PreK–K grade cluster has three Daily Starters — Language Arts, Math, and Fun Facts — to allow for art and a large font size.

Language Arts
  • Alphabet Recognition: Students will name letters in rows (some rows include numbers as well).
  • Phonemic Awareness: Students will name one or more pictures and determine which words begin with the same sound.
  • Phonics: Students will name a picture and determine the first letter in the word.
  • Sight and High-Frequency Words: Students will listen for a target word in a sentence (it may occur multiple times in the sentence), then spell the word.
  • Oral Vocabulary and Big Words: Students are introduced to a vocabulary word along with its definition and example sentences.
  • Numbers and Names: Students will read the numeral and number word versions of a number. They may be asked to count the number of pictures displayed.
  • Counting: Students are presented with one or multiple pictures with countable elements. They may be asked to count the number of items or to choose the image that contains a specified number of items.
  • Sequence: Students are presented with a sequence of numbers with one or more missing numbers.
  • Shapes and Patterns: Students will name and describe displayed shapes.
  • Measurement: Students will compare multiple images and determine which is largest, which is smallest, or which are the same size.

Grades 1–2

The Grades 1–2 cluster has four Daily Starters: Language Arts, Math, Fun Facts, and Teachable Moments.

Language Arts
  • Phonics: Students will name one or more pictures and identify the beginning or ending letters.
  • Sight and High Frequency Words: Students will read a sentence and recognize a sight or high-frequency word as it occurs in the sentence.
  • Spelling: Students will use pictures to help them unscramble words. They may be asked to recognize details about the words, such as vowel sounds or rhyming words.
  • Grammar: Students will identify sentence fragments or parts of speech in a sentence.
  • Word Play: Students are presented with multiple words that are easily confused, such as homophones, homonyms, or words with multiple meanings.
  • Counting and Place Value: Students are presented with a sequence of numbers with one or more missing numbers. The sequence may not be consecutive numbers, in which case students will need to determine the pattern or rule, such as counting by 5s or 2s.
  • Operations: Students are presented with one or more number facts or math problems. They may be asked to draw pictures to represent their work.
  • Measurement and Data: Students are presented with pictures of change or dollar bills and asked to count the number of coins and the monetary value.
  • Geometry: Students will identify the names and properties of shapes.
  • Word Problems: Students are asked to solve word problems, which are sometimes accompanied by pictures.

Grades 3–5

The Grades 3–5 cluster has four Daily Starters: Language Arts, Math, Fun Facts, and Teachable Moments.

Language Arts
  • Grammar: Students are introduced to a grammatical term and asked to identify it in a sample sentence or write an example that employs the term.
  • Usage and Mechanics: Students may be asked to complete sentence fragments, correct errors in sentences, or identify word and sentence parts in a sample sentence.
  • Word Parts: Students are asked to recognize prefixes, suffixes, and roots in words and determine their meanings.
  • Word Study: These activities focus on easily confused words that lead to many common spelling or usage errors.
  • Word Play: Use these Daily Starters to have fun with words by exploring multiple meanings, idioms, metaphors, similes, and anagrams.
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Students are asked to apply a variety of operations to solve math problems.
  • Numbers and Operations in Base 10: Students will be asked to identify the value of an underlined digit.
  • Measurement and Data: As students solve these number facts and word problems, they will need to think carefully about the measurement systems used the question.
  • Fractions and Geometry: Students will be asked to identify shapes, solve fraction problems, or identify fractional parts in a displayed shape.
  • Word Problems: The word problems cover a variety of operations and Word problems, wherever they appear in Daily Starters, help tie math skills to real-life.

Grades 6–8

The Grades 6–8 cluster has three Daily Starters: Teachable Moments, My Morning Journal, and Word of the Day.

Teachable Moments

These facts cover all content areas, including the visual and performing arts; authors and illustrators; biology; discoveries and inventions; holidays and customs; music; people and places; sports; science; and historical figures and events.

My Morning Journal

This daily writing prompt invites students to write about an aspect of the Teachable Moment. By responding to the prompts in writing, students practice writing explanations, descriptions, and persuasive arguments.

Word of the Day

The vocabulary word gives students the opportunity to explore academic vocabulary, learn words in context, and learn new meanings for familiar words. Word of the Day also covers idioms, adages, and figurative language. Word of the Day is designed to enrich and expand students' oral and written vocabularies.

Susan Cheyney

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