Have you tried pop-up books in your classroom? Your students will go crazy over these fun, interactive writing activities! Get all of your kids excited to write by trying out the pop-up books our guest blogger describes in this post.

Utilizing Pop-Up Books to Engage Your Student Authors

Hello! I am Jill from Coffman’s Creative Classroom. I am a third grade teacher who loves finding new and exciting ways to get my students engaged in their learning. Thank you, Rachel, for allowing me this great opportunity to share my ideas on your blog! We all know it is not an easy task to engage all students in writing. We all have students who struggle to

This post goes into details about six apps to use in your classroom to reach all readers. All of them have been used to improve reading comprehension and to master various reading strategies!

Apps to Reach All Readers

I’m Marion from Mentoring in the Middle, and I’m delighted to be guest blogging on Rachel Lynette’s Minds in Bloom!  Rachel was one of the first bloggers I started following way back when I was a blogging newbie, and she continues to serve as an example of what good blogging and product-making look like. Every grade presents its challenges to keep students engaged, but with

Do you use journals in your classroom? Make journaling more appealing to your students! You can go about making journaling fun with two simple things: washi tape and a straw!

Make Journaling Fun with Washi Tape and a Straw

Hi! It’s Melissa from Peas in a Pod. I am currently in my 11th year of teaching. I’ve taught kinder – 8th, thanks to a few combo classes. Writing is one of my favorite subjects to teach! There are so many ways to make it fun. Today I’m going to guide you through personalizing super cute DIY journals with pencil holders! Learning how to organize

Try out a combined reading and writing unit with a mysteries theme in your classroom! Students will love opportunities to solve mysteries and expand their comprehension skills!

It’s a Mystery to Me!

Today, we’re welcoming Sharon from Classroom in the Middle! She’s sharing her ideas on a combined reading and writing unit with a mysteries theme. Are the finer points of reading comprehension and written composition still an elusive mystery to your students? To one degree or another, reading and writing can be a bit mysterious to all of us, so why not play up the mystery theme with

What's your favorite comprehension question? You've never thought about it, have you?! Get your students thinking with this great comprehension question!

My Favorite Comprehension Question

Welcome back to Minds In Bloom! Today’s guest blogger is Carrie of My Book Boost, and she’s sharing her favorite comprehension question to ask her class. Read on to find out what it is and why it’s her favorite! What’s my favorite comprehension question to ask kids after reading? Let me give you a hint. It requires kids to use more than their brains to

Puppets make a great addition to any classroom but especially to an English Language Arts classroom. Our guest blogger shares her tips on how to incorporate puppet play into your class routine and even shares tips for dialogue and assessment!

Puppets in the Classroom

Lynn, the author behind TiePlay Educational Resources, is with us today sharing her insight on how to use puppets in the classroom. Your students will love interacting with reading and writing through puppet shows! Some kids have difficulty writing, but most all kids love puppet plays. How can a teacher of 25 or more students implement puppets in the classroom along with reading skills and

How to Teach Poems and Poetry all Year

Got Poetry? How to Teach Poems All Year

Hi! I’m Marypat from Just Add Students. I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger on Minds in Bloom today. Thank you, Rachel, for giving me a forum to write about my favorite topic: poetry!   Most of us teach poetry in April. We pull out fun lessons with figurative language, haiku, couplets, and limericks. And why not? After all, it is National Poetry Month. But

In case you need them, this post details 10 reasons why you need to teach Wonder by R.J. Palacio to your students. Not only will you fall in love with this novel, but your students will also become enthralled with it. It's an instructionally rich novel and provides opportunities for teaching not only literary devices but also themes like friendship and kindness. Read all 10 reasons here!

Ten Reasons to Teach Wonder by RJ Palacio to Your Students

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an amazing book on so many levels. If you have not read it, do it now. Like right now. Go to Amazon, download it to your reader, sit in the sun, or in the bathtub, or in front of a cozy fire, or wherever you like to read, and enjoy one of the best pieces of kid-lit, ever. NOTE: As Amazon Associates,

Text Time is the perfect reading skills practice that you've been looking for! It includes 60 reading passages, which really translates to 120 passages because there are two levels for each. Click through to read more about what's included in this awesome reading skills review resource!

Reading Skills Review the Easy Way!

So, a few months ago I was thinking about making an ELA skills review product – something with several different skills on one page – but when I asked my Facebook followers what they thought about the idea, a bunch of them basically said, “Well, that’s a swell idea, but what we really need is reading skills practice.” I am all about making what teachers

Do you need more rigorous spelling practice in your instruction? Our guest blogger shares her three best apps for spelling practice in this post. She explains how each app works and what she likes about it.

3 Best Apps for Spelling Practice

Hi!  My name is Amy, and I’m from 180 Days of Reading.  I am a Reading Specialist and former kindergarten teacher with a first grader at home. Some days I feel like I eat, sleep, and breathe spelling patterns.  I hit a wall at home with my first grader and spelling homework this year.  I was tired of the “write your words three times each”

As we see the arts leaving more and more schools, it's more important to connect the arts with academics. This guest post explores a variety of ways that you can do that for all major content areas.

How to Connect the Arts with Academics

Hi everyone! I’m Suzy from StudentSavvy! I would first like to give a big thank you to Rachel for allowing me to guest post on her fantastic blog! I am a huge fan of hers, and I’m grateful for this incredible opportunity! When I was a student in high school, I attended a charter school that was considered a “Performing and Fine Arts Academy.” Before I was accepted into this school (there

unique ways to engage students in the classroom

How to Engage Students by Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

Hello, my name is Jill Richardson. I am honored to have the opportunity to share with you today!   Do you need another way to build excitement and enjoyment of learning for your students?  Try pairing fiction and nonfiction texts.  Most of my career has been in teaching reading in the primary grades.  This year I am teaching English as a Second Language and loving it!  Pairing fiction and nonfiction texts

how to boost my students communication skills

Learning to Retell, Relate & Reflect Using Verbal & Written Responses

Our guest blogger today is Mrs. Naufal, and she’s been kind enough to share her insight with us about three important communication skills: learning to retell, learning to relate, and learning to reflect! “Retell, relate, and reflect” are oral and written responses that showcase various levels of communication and thinking ability.  Each step requires more experience than the previous step.  When students retell, they are able to discuss

Do your students read at home? Our guest blogger is a tutor with a love for reading, and she's compiled a list of tips for encouraging reading at home. You can share these tips with your students' parents, too!

Tips for Encouraging Reading at Home

I am so excited and thankful for this opportunity to guest post here on Minds in Bloom! I’m Rachel from Rachel K Tutoring, and today I want to share about my desire for kids to read at home and to provide a free printable to go with it!   I was always a book nerd growing up. I loved the library, the smell of books,

Literature circles are an extremely effective instructional method when they're implemented correctly. However, many teachers find them to be daunting because they do require quite a bit of upfront work. Once you get the literature circles in motion, though, they provide an excellent means for students to read, build comprehension, discuss, listen, and more!

Don’t Be Scared Off by Literature Circles!

Today’s guest blogger is Marcy from It’s a Teacher Thing. Marcy has shared with us five tips for effectively running literature circles in your classroom. Read on to learn more!   Don’t be scared off by literature circles (book clubs). They just take a little time and organization. I attempted my first session of literature circles more than nine years ago. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into,

The Power of Rewards and Incentives in Reading Instruction

Say hello to Jessica Sanders, the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn and our fabulous guest for the day! It’s called extrinsic motivation—being motivated to read, or do anything, based on outside factors such as money or rewards. Extrinsic motivation is evoked when students are incentivized to read more and this is a hot topic in the education world. Many people who are against using a reward system or incentives have

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