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

how can I make reading out loud more fun for my students?

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

How can I help get my students ready for middle school?

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,

Choosing the right Informational Texts for your students

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

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

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

how to get students to dig deeper and understand texts when reading literature

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

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

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

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

Books that make kids want to write DO exist! Many kids miss the connection between reading and writing, which is an essential connection and understanding for them to have in their education. Our guest blogger shares five books that make kids want to write in this post. Your kids will be chomping at the bit to write after reading these books, too!

Books that Make Kids WANT to Write

Minds in Bloom is excited to present Heather Earley with her inspiring guest post on making kids WANT to write. She’s got lots of great book suggestions. You’re bound to find a new favorite!   My addiction to books has been a long and expensive habit!  However, I was never much of a writer in

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

Reading comprehension for ESL students is critically important due to the language barriers these students have. This post outlines five hands-on reading comprehension strategies that will help your students grow their reading comprehension skills.

5 Strategies to Teach Reading Comprehension for ESL Students

Minds in Bloom presents Yara of Sea of Knowledge with her post on reading comprehension for ESL students. We hope you’ll enjoy it!   Reading skills are essential at any stage, but for ESL students this skill can be quite challenging, especially when teachers have a mixture of levels in their classes. My class in

Paraphrasing & Summarizing Freebie

Paraphrasing and Summarizing – FREE Posters and Reminder Cards!

Paraphrasing and summarizing are both super challenging skills to master, and what makes them even more confusing is that students often get these two skills mixed up! That is why I created the PARA and SUM acronyms:PARAphrase It! Put the text in your own words. Avoid copying the text. Rearrange similar text. Ask yourself if

how to encourage students to read more

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

Making inferences is a challenging skill, but there are ways teachers can make it easier. These unique ideas on activities for teaching inferencing and books to promote making inferences are sure to make your planning easier!

Making Inferences

Minds in Bloom is happy to introduce Sharon Fabian, from Classroom in the Middle, with her post on making inferences. Making inferences may be a difficult skill, but it is a fun one to teach – especially when you see those little wheels start to turn! Here are a few ideas for getting started.   Using

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