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Kindergarten Cafe, LLC

Welcome to Kindergarten Cafe - your home for teaching ideas, activities, and strategies to support you in teaching the whole child! I’m Zeba McGibbon, founder of Kindergarten Cafe, and current early childhood educator. I support early childhood teachers with classroom-tested strategies and materials that help take stress off our plates and support our students better from arrival to dismissal. My proudest moments as a teacher have been seeing my students using the strategies I’ve taught them to calm down, work with others, or stay on task with their work—and you can have this feeling too!

Favorite Blog Posts

8 Easy Impulse Control Activities for Kids

Kids don’t automatically learn impulse control and self-regulation – you have to teach them strategies to use! I have 8 impulse control...

Sub Tub for a Smooth and Easy Absence

Most teachers will tell you that it is easier to come to work sick than make sub plans… enter the Sub Tub!...

Ideas for classroom jobs and why they are important

Classroom jobs are a critical part of the classroom community. They teach students responsibility, independence and teamwork. Not all classroom jobs are...

5 Steps to Making an Interactive Seesaw Activity

Are you using Seesaw this year or considering it for any hybrid or remote learning? It is a wonderful website and app...

Quick and Easy Movement Breaks for Distance Learning

No matter if you are teaching in a classroom or on a computer, your students will need movement beaks and your normal...

Easy Morning Meeting Greetings and Activities for Digital and Socially Distant Classrooms!

Looking for easy interactive morning meeting greetings and activities that can work on a computer and/or in a socially distanced classroom? I’ve...

2019-20 Favorite #1: Establishing Math Routines and Expectations

As we finish up a school year, and prepare for the next one, I wanted to re-share my top 5 favorite blog...

2019-20 Favorite #2: Teaching the Alphabet

As we finish up a school year, and prepare for the next one, I wanted to re-share my top 5 favorite blog...

2019-20 Favorite #3: Authentic and Meaningful High-Frequency Word Practice

As we finish up a school year, and prepare for the next one, I wanted to re-share my top 5 favorite blog...

2019-20 Favorite #4: Kindergarten Phonics 101

As we finish up a school year, and prepare for the next one, I wanted to re-share my top 5 favorite blog...

Helping kindergarten teachers from ARRIVAL to DISMISSAL

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Recent Blog Posts

What are feelings and how do we handle them?

What are feelings and how do we handle them? Children don’t come to us understanding what their emotions are or how they should handle them, especially the more difficult emotions. So how do we teach our students to identify and regulate their emotions? Shop now

What are the best Math read aloud books for kindergarten?

Math read aloud books for kindergarten are a great way to connect literacy and math. Math books for kindergarten are great connectors to math lessons and can lead to fun and engaging practice. Below are some of my most favorite math read aloud books for kindergarten and how I use them! You can...

Homework in kindergarten? What’s best for students?

Homework in kindergarten? Sending home some worksheets ends up being more work for you, the teacher, causes stress and struggles for the families, and isn’t effective for the students. So what can we do instead? Homework in kindergarten? Research shows it’s not effective Research shows that...

9 Easy Apples & Fall Math Activities for Kindergarten

Are you looking for some easy fall math activities for kindergarten? Look no further! I have so many engaging ways to celebrate this new season with your students and help them continue to practice math! In the fall in kindergarten, children are mostly working on counting, and number identification and these fall math activities for kindergarten support...

Phonological awareness versus phonemic awareness: what and how to teach

Phonological awareness versus phonemic awareness can be a tricky concept, not helped by the fact that both terms start with ph! Think of phonological awareness as the big umbrella around sounds of our oral language, whereas phonemic awareness falls under that umbrella for the individual sounds, or phonemes, of our language. So phonological awareness is the ability...

3 ways to develop early literacy skills while growing a love of reading

One of the questions I am asked most frequently by parents of struggling readers is how to make their child love reading. I know that the answer to that comes much earlier than when the child is already struggling learning to read. When children are developing early literacy skills, there is a lot that caregivers can do...

Top Five Play Based Learning Must Haves

Wondering what play based learning materials and toys you need for your classroom? Looking to add more play based learning and purposeful play to your classroom? You shouldn’t have to spend your whole paycheck to supply your classroom with play toys and materials, so where do you even begin? Your collection can build slowly over time. In...

Why is dramatic play important?

Dramatic play has so many benefits and is often left out of early childhood classrooms as more and more academic activities get pushed in. But why is dramatic play important? I’ll share five important benefits to dramatic play and some easy ways to include dramatic play in your classroom (for ideas at home, check out this blog...

Teaching Listening Skills at the Start of the Year

Teaching listening skills at the start of the year is so important it is actually the first social emotional skill that I teach during the year. There are two different important parts to teaching listening: how to show we are listening, and why we listen to others. In this blog post I’ll show you how I teach...

How to Set Up A Kindergarten Science Center

Kindergarten science centers are great to spark interest and curiosity and to develop observation skills. Science centers can be done in any classroom. Despite what you might think, they don’t need a lot of stuff or require a lot of work! I will show you how easy it is to set up a kindergarten science center in...