It might seem impossible to add one more thing to your teaching agenda, but have you taught your students creative and critical thinking? Read this post for inspiration on how to teach these skills--and for insight on how these two types of thinking are different.

Teaching Students Creative and Critical Thinking

Life is full of adventures! You never know what wonderful twists or turns lie ahead.  A few weeks ago, I had applied to be a guest writer on Rachel Lynette’s blog, Minds in Bloom. With so many other applicants, I never thought I would even be considered! I was absolutely floored when I received an email from Maggie, Rachel’s assistant, letting me know that they were ready for me to submit

With the ever-increasing emphasis on testing, so too rises test anxiety. Help your students overcome their test anxiety with these brain-based tips.

6 Tips for Fighting Test Anxiety

Today’s guest blogger is Ellen from Brain Leaders and Learners. She’s sharing her six favorite tips for helping students to overcome test anxiety. Spring sends a refreshing new lilt into some students’ steps. Daylight stretches into late evening, outdoor events replace closed-in classes, and young friendships tend to blossom into new life for many students. Have you seen it? Why, then, does winter’s melt into

Making classroom videos can be an incredible way to build community in your classroom. Take learning to a new level by using these 10 tips to make a meaningful classroom video.

10 Tips to Make a Meaningful Classroom Video

Hi, Everyone! I’m Lessia from I am Bullyproof Music. Thanks so much to Rachel Lynette for inviting me back. Such an honor! Here’s hoping my tips inspire one and all.   Teachers frame ideas for students daily. Videography is a natural next step. By making lessons visual and personal, we can make them truly memorable. Biggest piece of advice: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on hearts and minds.  

Writing in math may seem odd, but it's an important practice with the new standards being used today. This guest post shares creative and insightful ways to add writing to math class. These methods will really get your students thinking!

Ideas for Using Writing in Math

Today’s guest blogger is Mrs. D, and she’s sharing some wonderful and creative ideas for incorporating more writing into math curriculum. It’s totally possible–but it requires thinking about math differently. 🙂   Writing across the curriculum has been a movement in education, and my school district is no exception. With the recent changes to Common Core and PARCC testing, I found myself at a loss for how

Clothespins are a surprisingly versatile tool, even in classrooms! Check out this Minds in Bloom guest blogger's tips on eight different ways to use clothespins around your classroom.

8 Tips for Using Clothespins in the Classroom

Today’s guest blogger is Lori from Teaching Tykes. She’s sharing her top eight tips for different ways to use clothespins in the classroom. I bet you’ll be surprised by some of her suggested uses! I love Clip Cards and clothespins! I have 280 clip card products in my TpT store! C’mon, who is not addicted to the way clothespins open and close? Clothespins are inexpensive and

Art activities and projects aren't just for the art teacher! Classroom teachers can do art integration to get their students thinking in creative, cross-disciplinary ways. This art teacher shares ways in which classroom teachers can integrate art into their lessons and projects.

Art Integration for Classroom Teachers

Minds in Bloom welcomes Jenny, the owner of Art with Jenny K., with her post on art integration. We know you’ll find it useful! “The creative adult is the child that survived.”  I came across this quote by author Ursala Le Guin a few months ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. It encapsulates why it is so important to integrate creative arts into

Integrating art across the curriculum doesn't have to be hard! Our guest blogger shares a variety of ways that art can be integrated into all content areas. Click through to learn more about incorporating art into English language arts, reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

Integrating Art Across the Curriculum

Minds in Bloom presents Renée Goularte, a former art-instructor, a working artist, and a writer, with her post on integrating art into your curriculum.   If you are a teacher, chances are you’ve said it: “We have no time for art.” Chances are equally good that you believe that art is important.  It is…and it’s worth making time for! Because you know what? Art education is important in and of

Read our guest blogger's tips for adding creativity to the classroom. Art, music, dance, and drama can and should be incorporated into the general education classroom to make learning creative, fun, and memorable!

Adding Creativity to the Classroom

Minds in Bloom is excited to present Jenn Larson and her guest post on creativity in the classroom. She’s got some great tips we know you’ll love!   NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. We all know that creativity is important. I mean, who doesn’t want to be one of those memorable teachers who not only teaches creatively but who encourages kids to think

Have you ever used interactive notebooks? If not, read this list of seven reasons why you should use them. We know you'll be convinced to use interactive notebooks after that!

7 Reasons to Use Interactive Notebooks

Hello! My name is Jennifer Smith Jochen from Smith Curriculum and Consulting, and I am ECSTATIC to be here at Minds in Bloom with you today! I have been using interactive notebooks in some way, shape, or form for the past eight years and “officially” the correct way since fall of 2010. I have seen so many benefits with the usage of them over the

Zentangle is a fun art-like activity that you can incorporate into your classroom! I tried it out, and it was a lot of fun, so I know kids will love it to. Click through to learn more and get inspired to try Zentangle with your students!

Try Zentangle with your Students

  I don’t usually ever write about art, but recently a friend introduced me to Zentangle. I thought it was fun, so I ordered some materials, and when my soon-to-be step daughter came over the next weekend, she was thrilled because she had learned to tangle from her fifth grade teacher. So, I thought some of you might want to try it with your older students.*  

Teachers aren't the only ones who can create task cards! Empower your students to take charge of their learning by encouraging them to make task cards. Kid-created task cards are unique, powerful, and fun!

Kid-Created Task Cards!

Your students already love task cards, so why not have them create some of their own (if you don’t know what a task card is, click here)? This would be a great project to do in conjunction with a book your class is reading or for a science or social studies unit. There are many ways you could go about this. Here are some things

Lessia Bonn from I Am Bullyproof Music shares her ideas on how teachers can teach with lyrics. Find music that resonates with your students--not just music that they think is popular--and teach them lessons through the lyrics. They will love it, and you will reach them in ways you never expected!

How to Teach with Lyrics

You are in for a treat! We have Lessia of I am BullyProof Music with us today to show us how to use lyrics to enhance our students’ learning and self-esteem. Thanks, Lessia!   I’m tickled pink and very honored to be invited to guest post for Minds in Bloom. Thanks for the wisdom, warmth, and fabulous materials you share with us all, Rachel. You

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

Hands-on projects are one of the best ways to promote creative and critical thinking in the classroom. Explore these hands-on project ideas to motivate your students to create, explore, and dream!

Hands On Projects for Creative and Critical Thinking

Minds in Bloom is so very pleased to welcome Heidi Raki, of Raki’s Rad Resources, who will share some terrific ideas for using hands-on projects to promote critical and creative thinking. All too often, math and science concepts are taught from a book. Students read some words, look at some pictures, try some equations, and are expected to think about the problem at hand in critical and creative ways.  However, many

Sidewalk chalk is great for drawing, of course, but there's so much more you can do with it that helps kids continue to learn! Check out this list of 10 fun ideas for using sidewalk chalk.

Sidewalk Chalk: Ten Fun Ideas!

I LOVE sidewalk chalk! It’s big, it’s colorful, it’s cheap, and if it comes in a bucket, it’s portable, too. There is sooooo much you can do with sidewalk chalk besides drawing pictures (though that is certainly an excellent use for it). Here are some ideas: NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. Play Games: Hopscotch of course, but any game you can

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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