Busy Teacher’s Cafe (busyteacherscafe.com) may be the place for a new elementary teacher or even an experienced teacher to find practical useful materials in a flash.
Busy Teacher’s Cafe is geared toward teachers of students in grades kindergarten through 6th grade. In general, it appears much of the material is best suited to the younger grades, but there are some general forms that nearly any teacher could adapt to the classroom.
Founded by Erika Gomex-Schanne, a literacy coach from New Jersey, in 2001 as a way to share resources with her colleagues, busyteacherscafe.com has adapted and grown. In addition to the free printables, there is also a place to purchase units and resources.
The free printable are the strength of this website. A valuable section is management and organization. Under this tab, teachers can find calendars, logs, behavior charts, lesson plan templates and more. These are all useful tools for teachers of many levels.
In addition, there are lessons available under the free printables for reading, language arts, math, and Spanish. At first glance these appear to be oriented toward lower elementary. One area that was particularly well done was the journal calendars. Teachers can select a month, which links the teacher to a printable with journal topics for the entire month. This would be a great idea for students to have this list of journal topics either to work in school or as a homework assignment. It would be helpful to parents to see quickly what the journal prompts were for the day.
Nothing in the free printables appears to be designated to a particular grade level, which on the plus side means that many grade levels can use the item. The downside is that there could be teachers within the same school system that uses the materials at different levels. For example, a third grade teacher and a fourth grade teacher may both decide to use the journal prompts. Then when the third grade students go into fourth grade, the prompts have already been used. Teachers that use these kinds of universal items need to communicate within their school system that they are using this item so others do not.
In addition to the free printables, there are links to websites and other units too. Selecting a unit on spiders links to many great resources for teaching arachnids from writing to science lessons. The themed units could be a very valuable resource to a teacher looking for these items. This one website provides enough ideas and ready-to-use materials that a teacher may be able to put an entire unit together without searching elsewhere.
Busy Teachers Cafe without a doubt has some useful printables and resources that will make a busy teacher’s day much easier to plan. Generally, this site is the most beneficial to kindergarten through third grade teachers although teachers of any age group may find inspiration here.