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 Minds in Bloom becoming a valuable resource for teachers, tutors, and homeschoolers, as well as counselors, and other professionals who work with children. In addition to posts about teaching strategies and classroom management, you will also find plenty of freebies and an occasional giveaway. Stay on top of it all by signing up for my newsletter and using the follow buttons in the header.
About Me

I have a background in gifted education, but currently work full time as a writer and creator/seller of teacher resources. I have over 100 nonfiction books for children in print. This writing experience makes me uniquely qualified to create Close Reading resourceson TpT.  I have also written several teacher resource books. The onesI am most proud of are a series of Creative and Critical Thinking Skillsbooks that I developed and wrote for Evan-Moor. In addition, many of my task cards were used by Kagan Publishing in their Quiz, Quiz, Trade series.

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Although I enjoy writing books, my passion is creating high-quality teaching resources which I sell on the TeachersPayTeachers website. I believe our future depends on our young people being able to think creatively and critically, so I incorporate higher level thinking skills into almost everything I create. With that said, I also think that learning should be fun! That is one reason that I have made so many Task Cards. There are so many ways to use task cards in games and other cooperative learning activities. I am an all-time Top Ten seller on TpT and the #1 seller for grades 3-5. In 2015 I was a keynote speaker at the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference in Las Vegas where I spoke to around 1,400 TpT teacher-authors. I have also presented at every conference.

I am a board member and advisor for Boom Learning℠ , an open marketplace for teacher-created educational apps. My work with Boom has included helping the founders and developers to create a truly effective and user-friendly app with teachers and students as the focus. I also recruited our Beta sellers and served as a liaison between Boom Learning and Teachers pay Teachers. As Boom Learning continues to grow, I am an active member of the board and continue to build our seller community as we as my own Boom Learning Store.

My newest project, the Teach YourSelf Care blog is all about helping educators to prioritize their own self-care. 

My own experience includes teaching students from grades K-8. As a classroom teacher, I taught mostly highly capable third and fourth graders, often creating curriculum to meet their needs. I have also taught technology and science to multiple grades. I hold a BA in Developmental Psychology and a K-8 Teaching Certificate from Western Washington University.

I have 2 adult children and 2 nearly-adult stepdaughters. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband and 2 adorable and very barky terriers.

When I am not researching and writing about self-care or creating teaching products I enjoy traveling, painting things  (I paint rocks that I leave in and around the Little Free Library I maintain with my husband. I also painted a mural of flowers on a wall in our courtyard), biking, hiking (well, walking really, but hiking sounds so much better), playing tennis and ping-pong, board games (we are currently into Carcassonne), cooking comfort food, dancing, crocheting colorful and usually somewhat crooked hats, and spending way too much time in hot water. Also, I have far too many houseplants.

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