Kindergarten Cafe Podcast

Kindergarten Cafe Podcast

Are you an overworked or overwhelmed kindergarten teacher? Or maybe you're just a kindergarten teacher looking for fresh, new ideas. You are in the right place. The Kindergarten Cafe podcast will share weekly tips and tricks to help you save time, work smarter (not harder) and support students with engaging and purposeful lessons. I'm here to help you with everything you need from arrival to dismissal. Let's get started!

Episodes

May 23, 2024 20 mins

We have come to that time of year where attention spans are few and far between. Curriculum is wrapping up and we find extra time in our day with highly energized kiddos. In this episode I want to discuss the importance of movement breaks for engaging kindergarten students, especially towards the end of the school year. I provide you with various activities, songs and games to keep your students moving and engaged. These movement b...

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In this episode of Kindergarten Cafe, I share effective strategies for maintaining student engagement during lessons, particularly as the school year progresses. I provide practical tools and tips for teachers to use when students show signs of losing focus. You can enhance engagement by adjusting volume, speech speed, and incorporating interactive elements like singing and actions into lessons for a more dynamic learning experienc...

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In this episode, I have my teacher friend, Holly, from Research and Play on the Kindergarten Cafe Podcast. We explore the significance of purposeful classroom setup, focusing on child-centered approaches including the Reggio Emilia method. Holly stresses designing rather than decorating the classroom, using natural materials to stimulate learning. We also discuss challenges in shifting to student-centric designs, encouraging studen...

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Join me in this episode for strategies on ending the school year stress-free. Keep students engaged with choices and themed days. I also provide many tips to help you prepare for the next year by decluttering and communicating with parents. Cherish moments with students and share this episode with fellow teachers for more tips.

In this episode I share:

  • End of the Year Tips
  • Keeping Kids Engaged with Activities
  • Engaging Stud...
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In this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe podcast, we explore the topic of supporting multilingual learners in the classroom. We highlight the importance of fostering strong relationships and creating a safe environment for these students. Strategies such as using gestures, visuals, and pair work are discussed to help newcomers feel included and comfortable. We stress the significance of understanding and supporting students as they...

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April 18, 2024 14 mins

In this episode of Kindergarten Cafe, I discuss the significance of Earth Day. I share how I incorporate Earth Day activities into my classroom to teach students about environmental awareness and taking action to care for the planet. From observing nature and cleaning up litter to planting and creating art projects with earth-friendly messages, I provide engaging and purposeful ideas for celebrating Earth Day with students.

In t...
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    This week I have Mona from Honest Math Chat on to discuss navigating new math curriculums. Mona is a former math avoider, teacher & instructional coach in Chicago. Her passion for math came when she discovered how to engage every student in a subject she, too, disliked. Through intentionally changing her math class to help students BE mathematicians using a student centered approach math came alive for Mona and her students. No...

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    Join us in this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe podcast, where we dive into the enchanting world of the Chick Life Cycle Unit, a magical experience for students and educators alike. We explore the journey of hatching chicks in the classroom, from sourcing eggs to nurturing the hatchlings. I share personal experiences and educational insights, guiding you through each stage of the chick life cycle. From egg anatomy to post-hatch ca...

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    In this episode, I chat with Melysa, a Pre-K teacher, discussing the essence of child-led teaching. Melissa shares insights on balancing play and curriculum, incorporating student interests into learning, and the magic of letting children explore and discover. She highlights the importance of fostering curiosity and independence, showcasing the beauty of child-led exploration in creating meaningful learning experiences for young le...

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    This episode is a sneak peek at a workshop I did on what to do when a child cries all the time. We explore effective strategies for supporting children who cry frequently and the importance of recognizing crying as a form of communication in children. I offer tips on how to respond calmly and empathetically. This portion of the workshop introduces the concept of a "calm corner" or "control spot" in classrooms to help children regul...

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    In this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe podcast, I go into the foundational aspects of teaching addition to kindergarteners. Emphasizing the progression from concrete objects to abstract representations, I want to stress the importance of utilizing diverse strategies like counting all, counting on, and drawing to foster understanding. We also discuss engaging activities such as dice games and Play-Doh addition to make learning int...

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    Today on the Kindergarten Cafe podcast, I explore the benefits of implementing writing goals to support young writers in kindergarten. Writing goals are instrumental in helping students focus on specific skills during the writing process, enabling them to track and improve their progress. These goals act as reminders for both students and teachers, allowing for personalized objectives tailored to individual needs and fostering a se...

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    In this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe Podcast, we discuss the importance of having a dramatic play center in the classroom. Dramatic play allows children to try on different roles, understand social situations, and promotes language development. It also integrates math and literacy, and encourages children to take ownership of their learning. We share ideas for setting up a simple dramatic play center and discuss challenges with...

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    In this episode, we discuss teaching students self-regulation and impulse control strategies. We emphasize the importance of helping students recognize their body's needs and provide specific strategies for calming down or getting energized. Introducing engaging activities like the opposites game and the bubbles challenge to promote impulse control. Overall, teaching self-control can lead to positive outcomes for students.

    In th...
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    February 15, 2024 15 mins

    In this episode, I share ways to teach students about water through engaging activities. From the changing states of water, to conducting fun experiments on absorption, sinking/floating, and melting. These experiments encourage the students to make predictions and challenge their expectations.

    In this episode I share:

    • Students' initial ideas and misconceptions about water
    • Importance of addressing student misunderstandings
    • ...
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    February 8, 2024 13 mins

    In this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe Podcast, we discuss teaching persistence to students by embracing challenges and reframing mistakes as opportunities for growth. I emphasize the importance of finding a balance between tasks that are too easy and too difficult,  and I provide some recommended books and resources to promote a growth mindset and provide strategies for supporting students when they struggle. Overall, we en...

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    February 1, 2024 17 mins

    Do you have a block area? I think classrooms are slowly getting rid of them because they need space for more academics, or they don't have time for play, but I have a whole chunk of the classroom designated for a block area. Hopefully this podcast episode will inspire you to find space for a block area, even if it's temporary. Think about all the benefits that come from it. Blocks are an amazing tool for students to use when playin...

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    January 25, 2024 16 mins

    Today I would love to talk to you about how to work smarter, not harder, when it comes to math intervention with our kindergarten students. This would also be relevant for kindergarten, first, and second grade.

    Math intervention is something that we definitely need to be always thinking about.

    We want to think about how best to support the needs of our students. And if kids are missing important skills, then we need to take the time ...

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    January 18, 2024 12 mins

    In this episode of the Kindergarten Cafe Podcast, we explore the excitement of the 100th day of school. We discuss traditions, advocate for a growth mindset, and share activities like crafts, counting exercises, and imaginative projects with 100 items. I also reveal a huge pet peeve of mine, something that really, really bothers me. 

    In this episode I share:

    • Preparing for the 100th day of school
    • Shifting the mindset ...
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    This is part 2 of a conversation I had back in November with a first year kindergarten teacher during one of my coaching sessions. During this part of the conversations we talk all about how to manage centers as a classroom teacher.

    In this episode we cover:

    • The structure of centers
    • How I structure my reading, writing, and word work and make planning them easier
    • Giving students a choice of station to hold engagement
    • How oft...
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