September 2012 - Minds in Bloom

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We all have fast finishers in our classrooms. Why not give them an extra challenge with these autumn-themed ELA task cards? While these cover a range of ELA topics, they are not based on the Common Core State Standards. Rather, they are focused on encouraging your students to think critically and creatively.

Fall Fun for Fast Finishers!

Now that you have been in school for a few weeks (or in some parts of the country, longer), you have probably figured out who those fast finishers are in your class, and you might be looking for some activities to keep them challenged. Here is a free set of 20 autumn-themed, opened-ended task cards that will do the job quite nicely. Most of the activities are

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Teaching inference is often challenging to do, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be fun! In this post I share a variety of ideas for teaching how to make inferences in pictures, in text, with mystery bags, and more! See the complete list in this post.

Teaching Inference

I originally wrote this post as a guest blogger for the PediaStaff Blog in February 2012. You can see the original posting here. It is published here with permission.    If you could see me typing this article in my office right now, you could probably infer several thing about me. The array of papers and books all around me would tell you that neatness

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There are lots of creative ways for teaching dollars and cents. Rachel explores several games and activities that can be use to teach this important skill.

Ideas for Teaching Dollars and Cents

Counting coins, making change, and solving money word problems are all important skills. Here are some ideas to help you teach them! Counting Coins First off, manipulatives are the way to go, ideally real coins and “play” dollars, but the plastic version is okay. It is fun and satisfying to handle real money, and it echoes real life. This cannot be said for pictures of coins on

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If you've been searching for ideas for books to read aloud to your class, then look no further. Minds in Bloom polled its Facebook followers and created a gigantic list of suggested books for read aloud to grades 3-5. There are some really fantastic books in this list!

Books to Read Aloud for Grades 3-5

When I look back on my own elementary days (so very long ago), I can’t remember what books my teacher read out loud to us, with one exception: My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson read us the best books, and he always stopped at the most exciting part, with all of us begging for more. He read us The Voyage of the Dawn

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