February 2012 - Minds in Bloom

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FREE Leap Day Mad Lib!

Here is a fun activity to do on Leap Day with your students! Mad Libs are not only fun, they are a terrific way to practice parts of speech! This one is designed to easily be used individually, in pairs or small groups, or with the entire class. Another option is to send it home as a fun homework assignment! Download Yours Free Right Here

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Nonfiction text features, while not the most thrilling topic to teach, make up an essential lesson that needs to be taught. Because students spend so much time reading informational text in school, they need to know the features of those texts, what information those features are giving, and how to use those features. Learn more in this blog post!

Exploring Nonfiction Text Features

Nonfiction texts can seem a little overwhelming at first. Encouraging students to view a nonfiction book in terms of its parts or features can help quite a bit. The very first thing that students should understand about most nonfiction texts is that they don’t need to read every word from start to finish. A nonfiction book can be compared to a grocery store. You buy what

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Celebrate Presidents Day with this set of 20 Presidents Task Cards! There's a piece of trivia on each task card, along with a question, about some of the U.S. presidents. Your students will enjoy learning a little history and learning more about our nation's presidents with this task card set - plus, it's FREE!

FREE Presidents’ Day Task Cards!

This set of Presidents’ Day task cards is a great way for your students to learn some fun facts about the presidents while practicing their higher-level thinking skills. Each of the 20 cards includes a piece of presidential trivia, along with a creative or critical thinking challenge. These would work well at a center. Another idea is to choose one each day for your students

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Are you looking for some Valentine's freebies? I've got a couple to share with you in this post, as well as a link to a full Valentine's Day activity pack!

Valentine’s Freebies!

Just in case you missed them, here are two Valentine’s freebies. Enjoy! Valentine’s Logical Thinking Activity    Free Valentine’s Mad Lib Activity If you want more, then you can spend $3.00 and get this pack of 12 Valentine’s Day Activities. There is a nice mix of ELA and math, all with an emphasis on higher level thinking.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Inference Board named Pin of the Week!

I was so thrilled to find out that PediaStaff named my Inference Pinterest Board as their Pin of the Week! PediaStaff  places pediatric therapists in schools, clinic, and hospitals throughout the country. In addition to their highly informative blog, they also have a huge Pinterest account with over a hundred boards with pins pertaining to education, child rearing, special needs, and various kinds of therapies.

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Use this list of 20 Valentine's Day writing prompts to bring writing into your class this holiday. Your students will feel--and express!--the love.

20 Great Valentine’s Day Writing Prompts

Here are some interesting writing prompts to try with your students this week: Write about a person that you love. What makes this person special? We often say that we “love” something. For example, “I love chocolate.” What is the difference between loving a person and loving a thing or activity? Do you think that animals feel love? Do you think a dog can feel

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Reading Strategies Link Up!

I enjoyed writing my post on Ideas for Using Inference so much that I thought it would be fun to do a link up for Reading Strategies! I am using the term Reading Strategies to refer to strategies students can use before, during, and after reading to improve their understanding. Some examples include: visualizing, questioning, making connections (text to self, text to text, text to

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Hey, Girl…

Taking a little break from the serious… If you haven’t stumbled across them yet, there seems to be a “Hey, Girl” trend using pictures of actor Ryan Gossling. Though not really a fan, I thought the “Hey, Girls” were so funny, I created a whole Pinterest Board of them. But, I couldn’t just stop there, so I created a few of my own. Hope they

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Teaching inference can be a real challenge, but I provide you with several tips for doing so in this blog post, and I share links to books and related resources to help you teach it! Teaching inferences doesn't have to be hard, especially when you have the resources to make it easy!

Tips for Teaching Inference

Inference can be a tricky reading strategy to teach, which is a bit ironic since most of us are constantly inferring things about the world around us and have been since a fairly young age. The trick is to help kids learn how to do it with text. Here are some suggestions for helping your students to learn this skill. NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we

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