May 2012 - Minds in Bloom
What's a fun and engaging way to get your students to write? A top ten writing activity! These are often very appealing to students, because they like to rank things, and they can be used in lots of different ways. Click through to read this post with my suggestions for all of the different ways that you can use a top ten writing activity in your class.

Try a Top Ten Writing Activity

Have you tried having your students write top 10 lists yet? I love top 10 lists for several reasons: Use for Critical Thinking Top 10 lists require higher level thinking, as students must evaluate different options, weighing one against another to decide not only what to include but also the order of the items they do choose. You can also extend the activity by asking students to justify

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It's the end of the school year, and you're probably wondering what to do with your students for the last few days of school. Am I right? Well, click through and read this blog post with fun end of the school year ideas shared by real teachers!

Fun End of the School Year Ideas

Last week, I asked the amazing teachers on my Facebook page how they liked to celebrate the end of the school year. Here are their terrific ideas: NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. “I love having students vote on class awards. I always make enough categories so that every student gets an award. Some categories include: Math Whiz, Class Clown, Most Helpful,

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Baggie Ice Cream

End of the Year Freebies

I know many of you are already out for summer, but for those of you still teaching, here are a few fun freebies to use with your students. Here are 20 fun Would You Rather Questions that all have to do with the end of the school year or summer. Use as discussion starters or writing prompts!   This ABC nature walk would work well on

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FREE Interpreting Remainders Handout and Posters

Division is the trickiest of the four basic operations. Word problems are also quite difficult for many students. Throw in interpreting remainders, and you have a Trifecta of Confusion in Elementary Mathland. That is unfortunate, because interpreting remainders is an important skill, and it is also part of the Common Core Standards. The trick to interpreting remainders is to really understand the problem and what is

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We always encourage students to answer reflection questions at the end of the year, but what about teachers? We should be doing the same! Self-reflection is an important tool that we need to use to reflect on what went well throughout the past school year and what needs to be improved for the next one. This blog post contains a list of 20 end-of-year reflection questions for teachers, so click through to read them!

20 Teacher End of the Year Reflection Questions

Last week, I posted 20 End of the Year Reflection Questions for Students. This week, the focus is on teachers. Here are 20 questions to ask yourself about your school year. Some of these would also make good discussion questions for a staff debriefing or for student teachers/interns. What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of? What is something you

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Sensory integration issues can be hard for the average teacher to identify; they may seem like attention deficit issues, for example. This is why it's important for schools to have occupational therapy evaluations available. There are specific supports available for sensory integration issues.

Identifying and Helping Students with Sensory Integration Issues

Guest blogger Loren Shlaes is a registered pediatric occupational therapist and a regular contributor to the special needs blog at PediaStaff (where this post is also being published). This is the final post in a series from Loren about how to help students who may be challenged with attention, sensory, or other issues be successful in the classroom. Most likely, you have at least a few students with these challenges every

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end of the year reflections task cards

20 End of the Year Reflection Questions

Here are 20 questions to help you and your students reflect on the school year. You could use these informally for discussion when you have a few minutes, or, for a more personal reflection experience, take a few of your favorites to use for a survey or as writing/journal prompts. There is also a list of reflection questions for teachers here. PIN THIS PICTURE SO

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Cooperative learning is an excellent instructional tool, but students need independent work time first in order to grow confidence with content. Learn how this cooperative math problem solving system works so that you can try it out in your next math lesson!

Cooperative Math Problem Solving

Today, I am trading blogs with Laura Candler of Corkboard Connections!  You can read her insightful post about cooperative math problem solving right here and then hop on over to Corkboard Connections to read my post about task cards.   Cooperative learning can transform a classroom, but it does take a bit of trial and error to be successful. When I was first trained, I used cooperative learning

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Have you ever wondered why some students seem to be able to pay attention better than others? Our guest blogging Occupational Therapist shares insight into why some children pay better attention than others. Click through to read more about her insight.

Why Some Children Pay Better Attention Than Others

Guest blogger Loren Shlaes is a registered pediatric occupational therapist and regular contributor to the special needs blog at Pediastaff (where this post is also being published). This is the fifth in a series of posts from Loren about how to help students who may be challenged with attention, sensory, or other issues be successful in the classroom. Most likely, you have at least a few students with these challenges

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