February 2011 - Minds in Bloom

Critical Thinking in Literature Read Aloud #1

  Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from

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Celebrating the Presidents

There is a terrific post by Carolyn Wilhelm on the Teacher 2 Teacher blog about Presidents Day. A great list of ideas, most of which incorporate high level thinking skills. I especially liked the ideas about separating fact from fiction in the presidents’ lives and about comparing different time periods of the presidencies.

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Introducing, the Pickle Fairy

This is the Pickle Fairy. I drew her as a little piece of clip art to use with a silly story problem about hiding pickles under your pillow. But I found her so enchanting that I felt she needed more exposure. So for better or for worse, I am now declaring the Pickle Fairy as the Official Mascot for Minds in Bloom. And just for

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Make It Matter

Today, I toured  a university campus with my college-bound son. When the student tour guide was talking about the university’s science program, her eyes lit up when she told us how she was taking Biology 101, and even though the experiments the students were doing in their labs were very basic, the results were being used as part of a research project that she professor

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Phone Spelling – Fun Free Activity!

Here is a fun way for students to practice their spelling words using a phone keypad. Students use the letters on the keypad to create a number for each word. To make the activity more challenging, have students translate their words into numbers and then switch papers to solve. Just be sure they mix up the words. This worksheet, plus another version to use with

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If you and your students have read the books and seen the movies, then I bet you'll love these Hunger Games Would You Rather questions!

"Hunger Games" Would You Rather Questions

Got a few extra minutes? Here are some fun Would you Rather Questions to use with your students once you have read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.   If you are looking for another fun Hunger Games activity, try Panem to Panem, a game based on The Hunger Games and inspired by the popular party game Apples to Apples®. Would You Rather… 1 Have Katniss for a friend

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