November 2009 - Minds in Bloom
Creativity is everywhere; all you need to do is take the time to look for it. Look around your environment, experiences, and memories for creative inspirations, and encourage your students to do the same!

Creative Inspirations

The quote below is located in the restroom at the Horses Mouth Bookstore and Internet Cafe in Buffalo, Texas. If you were here, as I am (far from my home in Bothell, Washington), you would not need to read it backwards because it is located on the wall directly across from the mirror, so of course it is reflected backward, which is forward to the reader.

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Traveling with Kids: No Screens Allowed

Yes, you have a portable DVD player (your vehicle may have even come with one), and yes, your kids have a wide array of handheld video games. And yes, making use of these devices ensures a quiet and peaceful ride. It also ensures that your kids’ brains will be on autopilot and that no interaction of any depth will take place. The alternative? Make a

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No Prep Teaching Materials

In addition to Minds in Bloom, I am also a Top Ten seller on I specialize in creating ready-to-use materials that can be implemented with little or no teacher preparation. My offerings are all highly rated and reasonably priced. I have included a little information about each set of materials here, but there is much more information available, as well as free preview pages

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Welcome! I’m so glad you are here!  Minds in Bloom started as a place for me to share strategies and ideas for teaching creative and critical thinking skills, and while that is still and important piece, it has blossomed into so much more. At this point, about 3/4 of the posts here are written by guest bloggers in the field of education. This has resulted in

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Thanksgiving analogies make for a fun alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving art projects and history lessons. Get your students thinking creatively and critically with these 15 analogies created just for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Analogies

Here are some fun Thanksgiving analogies to use with your students. Thanksgiving : November : : Valentine’s Day : _________ pilgrim hat : head : : pilgrim shoes : ______________ turkey : bird : : yam : ______________ parade : watch : : food : ______________ kind : helpful : : grateful : _____________ empty : full : : apart : ______________ Thanksgiving : Thursday

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It's always a great idea to cultivate the creative classroom, but sometimes we need some fresh ideas for what to do with the front of it. I'm sharing many ideas in this blog post for ways to utilize the valuable real estate that is the front of your classroom, where your students likely spend a lot of time looking. Click through to learn more!

The Creative Classroom: Come to the Front

Your students spend a lot of time looking at the front of your classroom, so it is important to make the most of that space. This is valuable real estate, so think carefully about how you want to use it. In most classrooms, the central feature is the whiteboard. If you are one of the lucky few that is blessed with an Interactive White Board

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There are a variety of ways to use Post-It notes, as we all know. However, one fantastic use for them in the classroom is for creative brainstorming. Use large and small Post-It notes to have your class creatively brainstorm a solution to a problem.

Creative Brainstorming with Post-Its

Traditional group brainstorming usually involves a leader fielding ideas and writing them in list format. However, you can use Post-It notes to make group brainstorming more personal and interactive. In addition, the Post-Its method allows you to easily organize ideas once they are all given. You could use this process in several ways: To solve a classroom problem; e.g., Our book nook is in a

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Thanksgiving Would You Rather Questions Kahoot

20 Fun Thanksgiving Would You Rather Questions

Would You Rather – Thanksgiving Edition This conversation-making, thought-provoking, debate-initiating SUPER FUN game is the perfect activity to get your students in the Thanksgiving spirit!  You can use these questions in so many ways! But whichever way you choose, your students are sure to have a blast! Grab these FREE Google Slides or Kahoot game to use these questions! Our Best Would You Rather Questions

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New York Times Article on Teachers Selling their Work

How is it that no one thinks twice about teachers forking out big bucks (often their own) for teaching materials from coorporate publishers, but when a teacher wants to make a few extra dollars from lesson plans, worksheets, or other teacher material she has developed, people cry foul play? This morning’s NY Times article Selling Lesson Plans online Raises Cash and Questions, kind-a-sorta presents both

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Find X

Today I stupidly lost a document. I am too frustrated to write a wonderfully inspirational post or even a useful one, so instead I offer this, in hopes that it will at least make you laugh. I wish my document was “x.” Fun Math Enrichment Educational Scavenger Hunts

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Allowing Children to Take Risks

A very long time ago I read something in a parenting book (of course I can’t remember which one) that said that we as parents should allow our children to do risky things, even those things like tree climbing that scare us half to death. Further, this author said never to tell a child to be careful. The reason given was that by telling our

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Today is My Birthday!

If you would like to give me a birthday present, here are some ideas: Submit a post (but not this one!) from Minds in Bloom to your favorite social networking site – Stumble Upon, Delicious, Face Book Twitter etc. There is a handy little link button at the bottom of each post for doing just that!   Link to Minds in Bloom on your own

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