5 Main Ideas to Teach Main Idea in Elementary

It may seem silly to read about ideas to help you teach main idea! It seems like such a simple… well… idea! But, even though the main idea of a text is the most central and important underlying idea, it can often be difficult for young students to recognize. Most main idea practice is just that – practice. Many textbook worksheets have students read a

The Ultimate Guide to Implementing an Independent Literary Genres Program

Some of the best lesson plans are those that span over the course of many months. They build on concepts, helping students to develop learning strategies along the way. You may have a certain project or lesson that sticks out in your memory. Was it a one-off worksheet, or an intensive project that required your time, attention, and knowledge? Maybe it was a science fair

How to make learning easier for non-english speaking students

Why Visuals Are Important for ELLs

Minds in Bloom is pleased to welcome Nikki Lubing to the blog today! Nikki has experience teaching English language learners in foreign countries, and she’s written an extremely helpful post for our readers about why visuals are important for ELLs. Keep reading to learn her tips and suggestions! Have you ever been in a full immersion foreign language class? If you have, then you understand

Close Reading Strategies for Informational non-fiction texts

3 Effective Close Reading Strategies for Informational Text

Ask many students how they feel about close reading informational text, and they’ll tell you it’s a bore. Informational text is full of just that, information. Without a fun story or interesting characters, some view it as a one-way ticket to Snoozeville. Throw in close reading strategies, and you’ve entered the Humdrum House. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Well chosen informational text

how to help students grow their reading comprehension skills

5 Easy Ways to Help Students Read More Deeply

Hey teacher friends! This is Tanya G. Marshall from The Butterfly Teacher! I am so excited to guest post again for Minds in Bloom! It is an honor to join this community of passionate educators who are looking for ways to engage students and improve learning. This post shares tips for helping students read more deeply and comprehend better. These close reading strategies can be

Reading teachers never stop working on reading fluency skills, even in the middle of winter! Our guest blogger wrote a fantastic post about how she uses Rachel Lynette's reading fluency task cards in her 2nd grade classroom. Click through to get all of her tips for encouraging fluency fun for students!

Fluency Fun in the Classroom

We are so excited to welcome a new guest blogger today, Terri Maples! Terri is a second grade teacher and spends a lot of time teaching reading fluency in her classroom. Her post today is all about fluency fun in her classroom and how she uses Rachel’s winter-themed reading fluency task cards to engage her students in practicing their reading skills. Keep reading to get

How to teach my students about prefixes and suffixes

15 Engaging Ways to Teach Prefixes and Suffixes

As you well know, your students need to have a clear understanding of prefixes and suffixes. But these concepts (especially suffixes!) can be tricky to teach.  Of course your activities need to be related to the standard, but you also want them to be fun!  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!  This post is your one-stop shop for effective and engaging lessons that will teach,

Nonfiction text features is an overwhelming topic to teach in English language arts, especially because it's not a very exciting topic and because there are so many. However, our guest blogger has broken down how to teach nonfiction text features into bite-sized, easy steps to make it accessible for both teachers and students. Click through to learn more about these strategies for upper elementary classrooms!

Nonfiction Text Features: Books and Lesson Ideas

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of teaching all of the different nonfiction text features? Don’t be! We’re excited to have Molly from the Sassy Apple guest blogging for us today, and Molly has written an excellent post all about how to successfully teach nonfiction text features. Her ideas are accessible for both teachers and students, and she’s included a freebie at the end.

Are you concerned that a student in your class has dyslexia? Our guest blogger in this post is sharing a free dyslexia screener that will help you determine if your student or child needs to receive formal evaluation. Click through to get more details about the screener and to learn more about supporting students with dyslexia.

Does My Student Have Dyslexia?

Minds in Bloom is thrilled to have Dr. Erica Warren back to the blog today. Dr. Warren is sharing information about screening students for dyslexia and how to support them if and when a formal diagnosis is given. Continue reading to learn more!   When considering the estimates that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and that there are successful teaching methods available for this

Teaching idioms is an important part of every English language arts teacher's job. Our elementary students often don't know what idioms are or what they mean when they hear or read them. Additionally, teaching idioms is an essential skill for English Language Learners to master. This post shares fun ways to teach idioms as part of language acquisition. Click through to read more!

Teaching Idioms as Part of Language Acquisition

Minds in Bloom is thrilled to welcome Christine to the blog today. Christine, who is a former reading teacher and a current librarian, has written a great post about teaching idioms as part of language acquisition for us. Enjoy! The power of idioms can often be taken for granted. It is easy to think of them as “old sayings” and perhaps dismiss them as worn

There are so many life lessons to be taught when we read children's literature! Our guest blogger chooses a children's picture book and analyzes three life lessons it teaches in this post. It gets you thinking about exploring other pieces of literature to teach the themes and life lessons inside. Click through to get more ideas for teaching life lessons in the elementary grades!

Teaching Life Lessons with Children’s Literature

  Reach high! Reach high up!  Up to the top!  To life lessons!  It is the very reason we read.  Open a children’s book, and open a window to the world of wisdom.  Bringing the literary world to your students in the early years nourishes them in ways that they will hunger for more pages of worldly advice and admirable characters as they grow older. 

Novel Studies for the 21st Century Learner

We’re delighted to welcome our next guest blogger to Minds in Bloom! Shalyn is a teacher librarian who is sharing with us how to make novel studies more appropriate for 21st century skills and learning. Let’s go back in time and imagine that you are in your elementary/middle/high school classroom. The teacher announces that you are going to begin your literature circle rotation for the

Text-based evidence is a hot term in the education world today, and it's for good reason. Finding text-based evidence to back up their answers and findings is an important skill for students to learn, as it truly enhances their reading comprehension. Our guest blogger shares her tips for utilizing text-based evidence in the middle school classroom, where the teacher is more likely to be teaching a novel study. Click through to read the full post!

Working with Text-Based Evidence in a Novel Study

Minds in Bloom is excited to welcome back Sharon from Classroom in the Middle! Her timely post on text-based evidence is sure to help you come up with fresh ideas for teaching your students how to utilize this important skill! Kids search for facts from texts when they’re doing research. They learn to find and use evidence to back up their claims when writing an

Reading is one of the hardest subjects and hobbies to get kids to love. So, how do we prepare primary readers for middle school and carry on the good reading habits and mindsets that it seems so many K-6 teachers instill? Our guest blogger shares four tips that teachers in her schools use to create joy about reading and to prepare primary readers for their secondary schooling. Click through to read the tips and download a freebie!

4 Ways to Prepare Primary Readers for Middle School

Minds in Bloom is delighted to welcome Sara of Secondary Sara back to the blog today! Her post is all about getting those primary readers ready for middle school, so we know that you’ll find her tips useful and informative! Confession time: I teach middle school English, and if the fifth and sixth grade ELA teachers below me ever quit or retire, I’m in BIG

It's extremely important to select high-quality close reading passages for your students. There are a variety of factors involved, including appropriateness for students, quality of writing, and the questions and answers included. Click through to read my guide for selecting high-quality close reading passages.

How to Select High-Quality Close Reading Passages for Your Students

As you probably know, there are many passages available that claim to be ideal for close reading and reading comprehension. Many are in published books. Many are available either for free or for purchase on the internet. As you select passages for your students to read, please keep in mind that not all passages are created equal. Teacher sites like Teachers Pay Teachers are open marketplaces. That

Close reading is a challenging technique to implement in the classroom, as it requires a delicate balance. I've tried to make close reading instruction easier with the help of these two no-prep close reading resources. They're ready for you to use right away, and they come with text dependent questions. Get all of the details about what these resources include and how you can implement them in your classroom in this post!

No-Prep Close Reading

I hope your students read real books and articles. I hope you facilitate close reading activities using those books. I hope your students are having lively discussion, thinking deeply, and writing thoughtful reflections about the texts that they read. Unfortunately, creating these opportunities takes a great deal of time, time that you may not have each and every week. It takes time to research appropriate texts

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