How To Set Up A Math Cafe

Kindergarten Math Cafe

Looking for a NEW way to engage your students in learning math at the beginning of the year? Creating a Math Cafe or Math “Salad Bar” is a great way to hit target skills, engage the students, and free you up to monitor learning. You can use the “recipe” cards as task cards, set up a cafe in your room, or just use the printables in small or whole groups.

math centers

What is a Math Café?

I like to keep all of my math manipulatives in one place, and hold students responsible for cleaning up after their activity. You can make your Math Café out of a bookcase or a rolling cart.

 A student pulls out the manipulative cart (Café). Students choose a recipe card (task card – with the material list, number of people who can participate in the math activity and directions), choose their partners if required, fill their tray with materials, do the activity anywhere in the room, and easily clean up by using a tray to hold their materials. 

You float around and take notes. One task card is labeled “Teacher’s Group.” This can be used when you see a student needs extra help with a concept. They will sit with you to review the concept, if you give them the card. There are also ipad, computer and blank recipe cards.

My Math Cafe Kindergarten Math Centers resource will give you everything you need for your own Math Cafe. 

This resource focuses on counting and cardinality numbers 1-5. 

math centers

Here’s a look at what you’ll get: 

  •  Standards
  • Unit 1 Counting and Cardinality with Numbers to 5 Directions, Suggestions, and Links
  • Materials List Needed for Activities
  • Task Cards (“Recipe Cards”) 1 Blank, 1 Teacher Station, 1 Computer Station, 1 ipad Station
  • Trace Write Draw Activity
  •  Read and Roll Card with Printable
  • Spin and Color the Fish
  • Spin ROLL Doh WRITE
  •  RACE CAR Game
  • Race and Roll to the TOP
  • Cover It –Spin a Number
  • Roll and Color a Picture
  • Number Order (count on from a given number)
  • Trace the Numbers (using sheet pan, magnetic numbers)
  •  Roll and Color (5 Frame)
  • Roll and Build a Cube Tower
  • Bowling with Markers
  • Roll and color the Bugs
  • Roll and Cover Caterpillar (with pom poms)
  • Race and Roll to the Top with Number Words
  • Count and Color the Number
  • Color by Number (Roll a die.)
  • Assessment Numbers 1-5
  • Small Posters for Touch Math Numbers 1-9
  •  Posters for Numbers 1-20 with Ten Frames
  •  Rules Sign
  • Math Café Sign
  • Recording Data Sheet for Teacher
  • Pictures of Set Up


Here is a helpful video about how to set up a Math Cafe or Math Salad Bar for math centers in your kindergarten classroom! 



If you love this bundle, you’ll also love my Math Centers Yearlong Bundle! It includes 14 units along with the Math Cafe bundle above to keep your students engaged with fun math centers for the entire school year.

math centers

math centers

For more Kindergarten math center fun, check out this post here! 

How do you like to make your math centers more engaging? Let me know in the comments!

Morning Calendar Activities for Kindergarten to 2nd Grade

Classroom calendar activities might look a little different this school year for teachers.  With so many teachers teaching virtually, in the classroom or a mix of both, having resources that will help teachers in both situations is essential.  Math concepts are a perfect combination to use during morning calendar time.  The best bet you will have to reach all students in my opinion is using Google Slides to introduce concepts to students. Google slides make editing and sharing simple. This way you can use the slides during class in person or in a virtual meet up.

Tips and Topics for Morning Calendar Time

  • Have a slide that has a blank calendar template so you can update it easily each month.
  • Add holidays and celebrations to the calendar to hit social studies.
  • Make it a point to teach students about the UNDO button if they are the ones manipulating moveable parts on the slides.
  • Create a daily morning message slide to greet students each day.  This can include a link to a good morning song.  I like to use Jack Hartmann’s songs.
  • Discuss yesterday, today and tomorrow each day so the students see the pattern.
  • Include  a letter of the week, sight words, weather or patterns in your presentation.
  • Number of the day, tally marks to mark how many days in school, telling time, greater than, less than and counting money are great math concepts and options to include.
  • List the months of the year out of order.  Have a student put time in the correct order.
  • Seasons are great to cover each morning so students can grasp the length of a season.
  • You can find all kinds of great free spinners on the internet to make learning feel a little like a game.
  • Birthdays are always special days in the classroom.  You can add music or photos of the children to a slide.
  • Include a review sheet for students to digitally send to you to see if they comprehend concepts.

No Time to Create Google Slides

Don’t worry! I have you covered! This is where TpT resources come in handy.  Here is the pre-made and editable Google Slides for a Virtual Calendar that you can use at any elementary grade level for your classroom needs.  No paper to print! (There is one page that is black and white for a review that you can print out for students who are with you in person.) Use what you like and delete the slides that you don’t want included in your morning calendar time.

Virtual Math Morning Calendar

Also Check Out:

Teacher Tips for Back to School with Social Distancing

Are you ready to get back to school with your students? Returning to school safely is going to make teachers think creatively when designing their classrooms! There are so many unknowns but I know for sure that being organized and clean are going to be play a big role in our Back to School routine this school year due to the pandemic.  Look at some teacher tips for back to school with social distancing in mind.

Here are some classroom decor designs and teacher tips for you to ponder!

Returning Back to School Safely

1. This is a kindergarten teacher’s classroom by Lacy Jenkins. She decided to make the protectors in a fun way to be less intimidating! Lacy used PVC piping and clear shower curtains to make her dividers. Learning will be like a beach in this classroom!

Beach Themed Social Distancing Classroom

2. How creative is this Teacher’s Brain? Jennifer Pierson transformed her desks into jeeps using cardboard boxes and clear shower curtains! The front of each jeep has a removable white plate for students to write their names on each morning for daily practice and check in. Learning will be a smooth ride in this classroom!

Jeep Themed Social Distancing Classroom

3. Kaycie Huffman uses yoga mats, plastic serving trays and individual bins for supplies to keep her students learning safely in the classroom.

Classroom Design ideas with Yoga Mats for Social Distancing

4. Let’s talk about how obsessed I am with this amazing make over by Schoolgirl Style! The colors scream happiness. There is social distancing happening, and it is tells students some fun is going to happen in this space. (PHOTO: @eccampbellphotography )

Happy Kindergarten Classroom Decor

5. Having a sub material is going to be very important this year if you are in the classroom! Hrs. Henry in First ( @mrshenryinfirst ) has a great way to prepare for those unexpected absences!

sub folder ideas

6. Look at this Teacher HACK! Masks and shields muffle your voice, so @mshannahengelke found a wireless mic headset so kids can hear her from across the room. She also said she, “feels like a pop star from the 90s” wearing it. #micMASK

microphone masks for teachers

7. Use a Back to School Checklist to help you remember all the things you need to do before your year begins. Grab this FREE one with FLOOR MARKERS HERE.

                  Back to School Social Distance Checklist                                 6 feet apart floor markers

Thank you to Rena Wooters for sharing this adorable DOOR  and Bulletin Board DECOR for the classroom! It’s Going To Be a BRIGHT Year! I love this door and board! It is such a happy visual for students.

Classroom Door Decor

Bright Bulletin Board First Grade



Also read these for some more Teacher Tips for Back to School with Social Distancing:


Back To School Classroom Decor Tips

One of the best parts of getting ready for a brand new school year is choosing your classroom decor! It is so fun to plan out how things will be laid out, what colors you will use, and  what you want your students to feel when they come into your room. 

Using your classroom decor to make your classroom a warm and welcome environment is especially important if you have younger students. Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade kiddos are likely to be feeling extra nervous because school is so new. Many kindergarten students are experiencing school and being away from their parents for the first time. We want to make them feel welcome, excited, and comfortable with our classroom. 

Here are some tips for decorating your classroom

  1. Plan it out early. Start thinking about what you want to do with your classroom in the summer. This gives you time to lay it out and find the supplies you need and have them ready when it is time to decorate. 
  2. Pick a fun theme. Themed classroom decor is a fun way to make your class memorable and stand out to your students! You can do themes that are more specific like Under The Sea, Zoo Animals, and Rainbows. Or you can do a more simple theme like bright colors!
  3. Make it welcoming. A warm and inviting classroom can help ease those first day jitters. Your students will love coming to a room where they feel happy and comfortable all year long.
  4. Add to it as you go. It is great to use your wall space for fun decorations, but keep some spots bare. You can add to your classroom decor as the year goes on. 
  5. Let your students help! This is a fun way to make the students feel more relaxed and like they had a part in their classroom decorations. Come up with some fun crafts that they can do that go along with the theme. When they are done, display it on your walls! 

I created this fun Hawaiian Beach Themed  Classroom Decor Bundle to help make your decor planning easier!

This editable decor bundle will bring a relaxing and calm feel to your class.  This includes 6 resources using Hawaiian pictures and watercolors. 

classroom decor

classroom decor

classroom decor

Included you’ll get: 

  • Welcome banners
  • Tropical word wall
  • Growth mindset posters
  • Labels
  • Table numbers
  • Center posters
  • Hawaiian photo alphabet lines (in cursive and print)
  • Name tags
  • Editable classroom jobs
  • Number posters
  • Where Are We signs
  • How I Get Home sign
  • Calendar set with watercolors
  • Editable Power Points

Get your Hawaiin Classroom Bundle here! 

classroom decor

Do you have any tips for decorating your classroom? Share them in the comments below!

For other back to school tips, check out my post here.