As the school year is off to a good start, I like to reflect upon and think about the ways that I use certain activities, or types of activities in my classroom.

One of my favorite category of resources to create and use (and one that has always been a student favorite) is the color by code category. These are our color by number, color by letter, color by word (sight word or vocabulary), or math fact color by code. I talk more about why I love color by code here… but in this post I’m going to dive right into 5 ways that I use color by code in the classroom.

Center activity

Whether it’s a literacy or math center, color by code resources are designed for repeated practice of a skill. Whether it’s identifying a letter or number, reading a word, or solving an equation.  Color by code activities are generally independent activities which also help with classroom management during the times that other hustle and bustle might be going on in the classroom. I usually have had a teacher center, partner or group game, and then a third fluency center. The other two centers are more hands on and engaged in noisy play/learning, so color by code pages make for a great center activity.

Morning Tub/ Morning Work

Coming into the day with a quiet but fun activity is great. I often use an independent, not stretch skill, color by code practice when it comes to morning work. I turn on some quiet music and then I’m able to go about greeting the students as they enter, and they can be engaged in practice. Kids also seem to really love to color when they first come in during the day, so this is kind of a happy medium between coloring and skill review.

Early finishers-

I often have differentiated color by code activities in my classroom, so when I have early finishers with our math work or center of the day, a color by code page is a great activity for them to go to. They know how to do it, so they can really transition to this activity independently, I can choose one at a level that is appropriate for the student, and its easy for them to stop part way through, so even if they have just 5 minutes, they can get started and then pull it out the next time they have early finisher time.


I tended not to send homework home at all in the form of worksheets to my students. However, I often did have parents asking for some pen and pencil math fact or sight word practice for their struggling learner. Since I can differentiate the activities and choose one that’s just right for what my student needs, it is a great and more fun (than a regular worksheet) way for students to practice at home. The image is also self correcting, so if the picture doesn’t look right, the student will be alerted that they have made an error.

Substitute Plans

One time when I almost always leave color by code pages is when there’s a substitute. Again, since the students know how to do it, it’s an easy type of activity for a sub to do. It’s also great as an extra activity to leave, since you always want that type of activity that takes some time to complete in case the other plans you’ve left are finished early.


Four of my favorite sets of color by code resources are my seasonal resources since they apply for several months at a time (don’t get me wrong… I also LOVE the holiday sets I’ve created).

Here are four of my favorites.













If you’re looking for some great math and phonics color by code resources, I’ve been working on creating a whole set of differentiated literacy and math color by code resources, you can find them here!