Check out these five fun, unique ways to get students engaged in reading aloud in your classroom. Kids will love the way these methods change up the classroom routine, build suspense, and make reading fun!

5 Fun Ways to get Students Engaged in Reading Aloud

Hi everyone! I’m Mary Beth from Brain Waves Instruction, and I’m so happy to be sharing ideas with you all today.  Rachel, thanks for letting me stop by!   Like most teachers, I’m constantly on the hunt for engaging ways to help students become more confident, effective, and critical readers.  Sometimes, I even go “old-school” and have my students read passages out loud in class…but reading

Transitioning from the primary grades to middle school is a challenging thing to do for many students. This secondary teacher gives five tips on ways to prepare students for middle school. Teaching them these skills and habits makes them that much more prepared!

5 Ways to Prepare Students for Middle School

Today’s guest blogger here on Minds in Bloom is Sara from Secondary Sara. She’s written a post that I know you’ll find incredibly helpful: It’s about five ways to prepare your students for middle school. Enjoy!   Ever wonder what the middle school teachers receiving your graduates really want? Not sure how best to help your 4th, 5th, and 6th graders transition from primary to secondary

This guided short story activity will have your students using only four of their senses to determine what a mystery object might be. Then, they have to create a story based on the object and a given prompt!

4 Senses Guided Short Story Activity

Hi! I’m Gina of PerfettoWritingRoom. Special thanks today to Minds in Bloom for co-hosting this article! It is one of the very best blogs on the block, if I do say so myself.   My most inspired writing project is a freebie I’m sharing with you today: 4 Senses Guided Short Story Activity. Calling it a prompt isn’t fair. Truly, it is an EXPERIENCE that is

Choosing informational classroom text can be challenging, especially since most kids don't enjoy reading informational text. However, there are some tips and tricks to make informational classroom texts more enjoyable. Check out this guest post to get ideas on choosing informational texts.

Choosing Informational Classroom Text

We’re delighted to have Sharon from Classroom in the Middle guest blogging for us today. She’s written a great post about choosing informational classroom text, which we think you’ll find helpful and informative!   The good news about informational text is that there is LOTS to choose from. The problem is deciding which informational articles will work best with your class.   Catching the kids’

Our guest blogger shares five fun word games that you can use to practice vocabulary and build word mastery in your students. These games have them practicing the words in a variety of fun ways that incorporate reading, writing, speaking, and listening!

5 Fun Word Games for Vocabulary Practice

Say hi to our wonderful guest blogger, Alicia Christian, aka The Elementary Professor!   Vocabulary practice is something teachers are always trying to increase.  Now, with more reading in the content areas, it has become critically important for students to have a well-developed vocabulary to both understand a subject and to increase fluency while reading about it.   But what can we do to give students repeated experiences with

This veteran teacher shares five tips for practicing inferencing in your Reading and Language Arts classroom. Help your students learn how to "read between the lines" and make inferences while they read!

5 Tips for Practicing Inferencing

Thank you to Claudio Enriquez from Two Boys and a Dad-Teacher for his guest post today!   When it comes to inferencing, many of our students fail or come up short with their answers. The Common Core Standards for both informational and literature standards are very clear as stated in Anchor Standard 1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite

Our guest blogger shares useful tips on how to stretch out mentor texts to not only improve reading skills but to also be used in cross-disciplinary units. Mentor texts can be used for reading, writing, social studies, science, and even math!

Maximizing Time with Mentor Texts

Minds in Bloom is thrilled to welcome Jessica from Ideas by Jivey to the blog! Jessica is sharing some information about her favorite topic: mentor texts!   I love a good piece of literature, don’t you?? And I REALLY wish that I could just read all day long, but I can’t. There just isn’t enough time! (Can I get an AMEN?) So instead, I maximize my time

Close reading for literature is like a salt: It must be used sparingly in order to be effective. In this post I detail several ways that you can enhance close reading, when it comes to literature, so that your students are truly digging deeper into the text without getting overwhelmed and bored. Check out my Close Reading for Literature Toolkit, as well!

Close Reading for Literature (Fiction) plus a Freebie!

I have heard close reading called “abusing the text” and that it kills the joy of reading, which is probably true in many classrooms. Close reading is like salt. A little is a very good thing – a lot, not such a good idea. I think this is especially true with literature because most kids (and adults, too) gravitate toward fiction when reading for pleasure.

Minds in Bloom had a wealth of great posts in 2014, but these 10 take the cake as the best posts of 2014. Click through to our Pinterest board to see all of the posts!

Minds in Bloom: Best Posts of 2014

Here is a little round up of the best Minds in Bloom Posts of 2014! Each of these posts has had over 10,000 page views, and many have gotten quite a few more than that! As you can see, most of them are guest posts, which is awesome! You will find a wealth of information here, and if you like something, then be sure to

Our guest blogger shares her tips on how to effectively manage small group instruction. Her tips focus specifically on reading and math centers and small group instruction built into those center stations.

Small Group Instruction

Minds in Bloom presents Laura of First Grade Spies, with her post on small group instruction. Enjoy! I love working with small groups of students! Working with small groups gives me the opportunity to really get to know my cutie pies, to gently guide them through their journey of discovery. It’s such a great feeling to be sitting in the “front row” and seeing that

Tips to Make Reading Fluency Fun!

Here’s a familiar scene:  Your students are reading paragraphs out loud. The first student reads in a monotone voice, while there are no actual mistakes, she has less expression than Siri on your Iphone. Student number two sounds great, except that she has guessed (wrongly) at two of the words in the paragraph and skipped over two more completely. The third student to read has

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards is possible, even though they often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our guest blogger goes into detail on how to master a standard, using an RL standard from CCSS as a model. She describes how she shifted her instruction in order to make sure she taught each standard, and we know you'll find this post helpful in getting a handle on the Common Core!

Mastery of the Common Core State Standards

Minds in Bloom presents Brenda of Teaching…Seriously with this post jam-packed with information on Common Core standards mastery!     Sprinkling standards into my existing literature program just didn’t work. Then realization struck. My students needed direct instruction, modeling, guided practice, and independent practice for each standard. This required a paradigm shift. Instead of teaching multiple standards with each story, I had to use multiple

Many teachers find it a challenge to encourage reading in the classroom--and outside of it. This post gives 10 tips for encouraging reading in ways that are engaging, meaningful, and authentic.

Ten Ways to Encourage Reading in Your Classroom

Of course, we all want our students to become readers – we want them to read way beyond the classroom, not just when they have to but also because they want to. In many ways, that is becoming more and more difficult. While the emphasis the Common Core puts on informational text will likely benefit our kids in many ways, in many classrooms it is at

We know most students don't love writing, but these ideas for writing across the curriculum make it fun--and students won't realize they're writing!

Writing across the Curriculum

Minds in Bloom is happy to present another stellar post from Shelley Rolston on Writing across the Curriculum. Enjoy!   I heard it a lot from students when I taught the upper elementary grades: “I’d like science if I didn’t have to write about it.” Or, “This is not math, it’s writing!” Have you ever heard this?  In the younger grades they don’t often express

Implementing close reading can feel daunting and unattainable, but it can be done. Close reading really has its own time and place in the classroom, and teachers should be incorporating it with frequency. I share 12 tips in this post that will help you get started and narrow your focus.

12 Tips for Implementing Close Reading

One of the reasons I did not dig into close reading sooner is that it seemed really intimidating. But, it turns out that while it does go deep – way beyond traditional comprehension – it is not all that mysterious. Once you learn the key pieces – what makes close reading close reading – it becomes less intimidating and more intriguing (or at least it

Close reading is an important part of every teacher's literacy instruction, but it can be enhanced even further with the use of QR codes! Our guest blogger describes how she has integrated the use of QR codes into her close reading instruction to further supplement and enhance her instruction.

Close Readings with QR Codes

Friends, I’m Monica Schroeder, and I am so excited to be writing this guest post for Minds in Bloom!  The amazing Rachel Lynette has allowed me to share my Close Readings with QR Codes! I am here to show you how my students have been using QR codes to practice their reading skills.  Now, please know that we have been practicing our close reads all year

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