Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New You: Get Organized in 2015

This year is yours.  What will you do with it?  I'm determined to be more organized!  So join me by grabbing this free printable to help keep your desktop clean.


Print a paper copy for your desk OR use the png file version for your computer desktop!


Happy New Year from Kate's Classroom Cafe to yours!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Half Over Sale!

After a family (and flu) filled holiday, I'm ready for a new start and a NEW year!  Which means gathering some new resources for my classroom that will save me time while making my lessons awesome for my students.  Why not kick off 2015 by celebrating the half-way point in the school year?  This is a great chance to grab grades 5-12 resources at up to 20% off.  Click on the image below to get links to all the participating stores!


Or click here if you would like to go directly to Kate's Classroom Cafe on TpT

Are you hoping to help your students set goals for a successful second half of the year?  Check out this printable that I use with my middle schoolers for setting realistic, achievable goals while reflecting on the first part of the year.  Grab it for 20% off December 31and January 1st.


Wishing you all a wonderful start to 2015!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy Holidays! The Science Ebook is Here


I'm pretty excited to have a page in this season's secondary math and science ebook. If you haven't seen this, click below and you will find a book FILLED with winter and holiday-themed freebies for grades 6-12!  

My feature freebie is a set of holiday-themed reward coupons for the big kids.  To download, click below: 

Remember to make time for fun in your classroom during this hectic time of year!

Happy Holidays...

Friday, December 5, 2014

What The Teacher REALLY Wants: Holiday Gift Idea


Let me start by saying that this post is not really intended for students or parents.  To be honest, the best gifts I have ever received from a parent was a full page thank you note for believing in their child.  The best student gift was a Play-Doh ornament that a student spent hours making look like the pond cross-section diagram that we studied in class.  I received that ornament 6 years ago and it is hanging near my computer as I type this post.  It is intricately formed and thoughtfully molded.   There is no way that I would have the patience to craft this, and although it has no monetary value, it reminds me that I have chosen a worthy profession.  So, that being said- this post is NOT about gifts from students and parents.  If you stumbled across this post looking for a gift for your child's teacher, buy a Starbuck's gift card.  I'm pretty sure the more coffee I drink the better I teach :)

But seriously, giving a gift that someone treasures is a GREAT feeling.  Don't you just love when you find the perfect way to show someone that you really know them and appreciate them?  I recently stumbled upon The Pampered Teacher and got to thinking about how many boyfriends, husbands, brothers, long-distance friends etc. probably have a teacher in their life who they would love to find the perfect gift for.  If you fall into this category, pay attention!

Here is a sneak peak into my Pampered Teacher December gift box....

When I opened the box, I was greeted with this message...

 I don't want to give away too many details because some of the fun of getting this subscription is the element of surprise!
 I will say, that I felt like it was put together by my best friend.  It is as if each item was thoughtfully picked just for me.  Maybe it was luck or perhaps I'm just your "textbook" work-a-holic teacher, but I have a feeling that I'm not alone.  There are a lot of crazy teachers out there who deserve this kind of pampering!
Favorite item in this month's box?  These ultra-soft, extra long, fingerless gloves.  (Considering the arctic-like temperatures in my classroom I think these are going to get some real mileage both in and out of school.)




So class, let's review...

Your wife lives in her classroom.  Your best friend has a scary collection of multicolored grading pens and your sister in Arizona has a "teacher finger" that signals when she really means business.  Your holiday shopping is now complete... and you're welcome.


Happy Holidays and Happy Teaching...




Monday, December 1, 2014

Starving at School? Nature Box $10 off deal, Plus Cyber Monday Sale at TpT!



How often are you slaving over stacks of papers after hours with a growling stomach?  I don't know about you, but I confess to dipping into the classroom prize box a time or two in desperate search of a pick-me-up snack.  Enter...Nature Box.  A fellow snack-loving teacher at school introduced me to this healthy and convenient way to keep snacks on hand in your classroom and after a few months I am hooked!

My desk at the end of a typical day.  Feeling motivated with this bag of "sunshine chips."

How it works:
1) Pick 5 snacks online from a huge list of choices.
2) Put in your school address for shipping.  Yup...this part is genius right?  I never have a free hand walking from my car to my classroom so this ensures that the snacks are right where I need them!
3) Pick from a variety of plans (The longer you sign up for, the sweeter the deal.)

Click any photo below for more information and use this link to get $10.00 OFF your first box! 

My Nature Box arrives (in a super sturdy, totally classroom reusable box)!

The hardest part is not opening every bag right away for a taste test.

 I have a hard enough time remembering everything my family needs at the grocery store, and by the time the lunches are packed and dinners made, there is not time for ME!  This has been such a time-saver this school year.  If I forget my lunch or just don't have time to make one, I grab an apple and a yogurt and I know that I have a box of savory and healthy treats to enjoy in my classroom.

While your online cashing in on the Nature Box deal, don't forget to check your wish list on TpT.  The Cyber Monday sale (which is actually Monday and Tuesday) is a great chance to grab some print and go resources at nearly 30% off.  Don't forget to use code TPTCYBER at check out!


Happy Snacking and Cyber Monday Shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Engaging Activities and a FREEBIE


Welcome to Kate's Classroom Cafe

Here you will find ideas and activities for upper grades students.  So, fill a cup and enjoy!

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We all know that kids learn best when they are actively engaged in exploring and recording their learning. Are you using interactive notebook tools, doodle/sketch notes, card games, summary posters and learning stations in your science classroom? These are some of my favorites for getting every learner on board in science class!

Photosynthesis for Interactive Notebooks is a resource ideal for visual learners:



EVERY kid gets engaged and moving with this Periodic Table Review RACE:



Interactive Science Stations take learning to whole NEW level:

Energy Exploration Stations and Lesson Plans


Night Sky Stations and Lesson Plans

Who doesn't love to color and doodle? DOODLE and SKETCH Notes Work Well for VISUAL LEANERS!




Develop Positive Relationships with Students by Learning More About Them!

OR   


Be sure to visit me at Kate's Classroom Cafe for a wide variety of upper grades lesson plans, games and printables!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stay Organized in December: Free Printable!

December is a month of lists.  Need to make...Need to buy...Need to share...Need to clean!  I'm one of those people who enjoys being busy, so I can honestly say that I love the hustle and bustle of this time of year.  Many of you super organized folks may not have needed this in September, October and November, but hello month of desktop chaos!

Looking to keep your desktop merry and bright?  Download this free printable!


Thanks for visiting Kate's Classroom Cafe.  Remember to follow for the latest buzz!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

7-minute Science Vocabulary Practice: Energy in an Ecosystem

Students need time to practice and deepen their understanding of new science vocabulary.  Here are 5 stations that I created that helped kids review the concepts relating to energy in an ecosystem.  Students loved getting up and moving from station to station, where they completed 5 different hands-on tasks to extend their learning of food chains and food webs.




I love sharing my latest creations with my active blog and store followers!  These 7-minute Science vocabulary stations are a new addition to my store.  If you would like to grab them for free, follow me at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kates-Classroom-Cafe for an exclusive follower-only message (in the next 48 hours) about a chance to download these for free (for a limited time).

NOTE:  THIS FREE OFFER HAS EXPIRED, but if you would like to be notified of future free downloads, please be sure to follow this blog!


Seven minute science? Setting a timer for 7-minutes kept the class moving at a fast pace!


Thanks for stopping by for the latest buzz!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Secondary Smorgasbord Happy Hour FREEBIES!

Monday is probably not the best time to start throwing around the words "happy hour"...because that seems SO far away right now.  But who says you can't have a little late night happy hour of your own right now?  Set down that stack of papers you were grading, grab the beverage of your choice and check out this amazing collection of FREE downloads from some like-minded secondary teachers.


This is the time of year when I ask my students to do some more intense science writing.  I've been doing a lot of modeling and offering modified lab conclusions but now it's time really get kids to take ownership of the science writing process.  Here is a science writing printable that will help your students with science responses.  It includes some posters, a student worksheet and some mini- checklists for students to affix to a journal page as a reminder while they write.  Enjoy!

(Click the image below to download.)



Be sure to over to the ELA Buffet or Desktop Learning Adventures to see all this month's FREE and FABULOUS secondary resources!

Thanks for visiting Kate's Classroom Cafe for the latest buzz.  If you teach middle school are in search of some fresh brewed ideas...




Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Round Up


Welcome to the November Bright Ideas Blog Link Up!  This is an exciting month because each blog is highlighting some the best bright ideas from this year.

Here's an easy idea for using manilla file folders to make bookmarks for interactive notebooks:


Ever use your windows as learning space?  Here is a post about 5 ways you may not have considered!

Mini class lists are so helpful for all teachers, but especially in the upper grades when you have multiple classes to keep track of!  Check out this bright ideas post ways to use these handy little lists:




I hope you enjoyed these ideas and maybe found something that will be useful in your classroom.  Be sure to visit the link up below to gather some ideas from my Bright Blogger Buddies!

Happy Teaching...





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Feeling Stressed? This Giveaway is for You!

Counting down the days until your next long weekend? Did you experience the October slump?  If so, you are not alone.  September can suck the life out of even the most energetic teacher!  Remember to take some time for yourself.  Treat yourself to a Starbucks treat.  Head to the movies with a friend. You deserve it!

My friends Juggling ELA and Study all Knight are hosting a these fabulous chances to grab some stress-free and fun teaching resources for your classroom.  (Enter below)

May the most stressed out teacher win!




a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wishing you all a fabulous start to your November!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Desktop Sticky Note Mat for November!

I'm feeling pretty thankful that I have tamed my desktop clutter this year with these planning mats!  They are great for sticking all those post-it note memos that you write yourself.  I usually print a few of these to use throughout the month...I have a sticky note problem!



This November FREEBIE is up and ready for download! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Photosynthesis for Interactive Notebooks

I've been loving the work my students are doing in our science notebooks this year.  Lately, we've been having fun mastering the process of photosynthesis through experiments, card sorts and some interactive flip notes!


There are definitely some great resources for teaching photosynthesis available online.  However, I just couldn't find something that I thought was a good match for this year's group, so I created some of my own diagrams and put them together to create an interactive notebook entry that teaches the photosynthesis equation.




Making meaning by modeling with play dough (Even if it is orange instead of green...which drove me a little crazy but didn't seem to matter!)


We did a grass plant experiment that clearly shows the role of sunlight in the process.  

And we recorded our observations every few days over the course of about two weeks. 



We used a few different strategies for vocabulary practice including card sorts, splat and this "How I see it" graphic organizer that encourages students to describe each word using their own words and pictures. 


For more details and printable versions of each of these photosynthesis activities, check out:


Happy Teaching...




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