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

how can I help students with dyslexia?

37 Ways to Help Students with Dyslexia Flourish in the Mainstream Classroom

Minds in Bloom is excited to present Anne-Marie of Bay Tree Blog, who is giving us a TON of great tips on teaching students with dyslexia. You work so hard. You’re dynamite with your students. You spend hours preparing your classroom activities. And yet, your hard work isn’t paying off for all of your students. You’re not alone. Most classroom teachers have a small handful of students who

We've heard and read a lot about using mentor texts in our writing instruction, but what about using them in our reading instruction? Our guest blogger shares a few ways that mentor texts can be used to help meet the Common Core Reading standards and to ignite a bigger love of reading in your students. Check out her suggestions in this post!

Finding Success With Common Core Reading Using Mentor Text

Minds in Bloom is excited to have April Smith of Performing in Education guest posting today! This post is packed with great ideas on using mentor texts. Enjoy!   If you teach writing, then you’ve invariably used, or heard about, mentor texts. A mentor text is a book that you use to show your students examples of excellent writing, which they can then go imitate

Notice and Note, a professional development book for teachers on the topic of close reading, shares the idea that close reading should be rigorous but not defeating. They feel that close reading should be more about the engagement between the reader and the text. How is rigor defined at your school? Do you agree with the authors' viewpoint here? I'd love to have you chime in with a comment sharing your thoughts on this topic.

“It’s Rigor, Not Rigor Mortis” A Short Reflection from Notice and Note

Artwork credits: Edusong, Dancing Crayon Designs, KG Fonts NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.   The title of this post (It’s Rigor, Not Rigor Mortis) comes from a subheading in the book, Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. I love this subheading because it speaks to what so many fear will be the outcome of close reading: the

Close reading is an instructional technique that captured my attention, despite my reputation for my task cards. I share my process for creating my new close reading passages in this post, and I give all of the inside scoop on my new Close Reading Toolkit and what it includes. Read this post to grab a link to a freebie, in case you like to try it before you buy it!

Close Reading: How I was Seduced (and a freebie!)

Oh, close reading, you temptress. How could I resist your charms? Who gets tempted by close reading? I mean, seriously, who? Me, actually. I love task cards. Really, I do. Task cards are awesome, and they will always have a special place in my heart. I am not in any way abandoning them – really, I’m not. I’m just taking a little break. Here’s the

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

classroom library organization

Organizing Your Classroom Library

Please welcome Megan of Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade.  Today, she shares with us how she keeps her classroom library tidy and accessible to her students, which is not an easy task!  Thanks Megan.     Over the last few years, I’ve developed a system that works beautifully for keeping our classroom library organized, and I am excited to share it with you today! It’s so

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

Planning Close Reading

Hi friends! I’m absolutely thrilled to be a guest blogger here on Rachel’s site! Today I’d like to talk about close reading and share how I used Maya Angelou’s poem “Human Family” to launch close reading in my sixth grade class this year.   Close reading has quickly become one of the most talked about instructional strategies related to the Common Core.  And tips on

Where can you find quality informational texts?

Informational Text Resources

Please welcome Brian and Eric of Wise Guys!  Today they share with us how they are meeting informational text standards in their classrooms.  Thanks guys! Informational text has become a major focus under the Common Core Standards. As classroom teachers, it is our goal to help our students become proficient in reading and writing informational text. Below are our top five ways we accomplish this

The Gateway Book

    Please welcome Caitlin of The Room Mom.  Today, she shares how she has guided her students to choose that one special book that leads them into being vivacious readers.  Be sure to check out her book suggestion path down below.  Thanks so much, Caitlin!   It only takes one perfect book to get a child hooked on reading. I like to call this book

Teachers are always looking for reading strategies for comprehension, and our guest blogger shares four engaging strategies - along with freebies - here.

Reading Strategies for Comprehension

Please welcome Carla of Comprehension Connection.  Today, she shares some reading strategies that she has found work well in her classroom.  She has generously shared some freebies with you all, too.  They are linked within the text, so make sure to click on them to pick up your copy.  Thank you for sharing, Carla! Hello from Comprehension Connection!  My name is Carla, and I am honored

Higher-level thinking is an important skill, no matter which model you employ in your classroom. This post outlines a variety of ways in which you can encourage your students to reach higher-level thinking and provides concrete examples based on Bloom's Taxonomy, the Wheel of Reasoning, and the Depth of Knowledge.

How to Encourage High-Level Thinking

Today we will be presented with fantastic ideas from Pam of Rockin Resources. She shares some effective techniques along with free samples from her Higher-Level Thinking product. I am so stinkin’ excited that Rachel invited me to guest blog!  Do you hear my “Woo woo?”  Thanks Rachel!  This post will provide you with effective ideas to get your students to think and question at a

Our guest blogger, who is a tutor, shares her insight on how to expand the use of your file folder games. She gives a list of ways to adapt several games to stretch them further and make the most of them for learning benefits!

Expand the Use of Your File Folder Games!

We all know how motivating games can be in the classroom.  In this post Adrianne Meldrum of The Tutor House shares some great ideas for using file folders, as well as a Halloween freebie!  Thank you to Rachel for inviting me to write here on Minds in Bloom.  Ever since I stumbled upon Rachel two years ago, I’ve been ever amazed at the high quality posts here

The Common Core State Standards really had an impact in all areas of education, but ELA classroom teachers are especially feeling the shifts. Common Core introduced a whole new way of teaching and learning, so with that comes a need for shifting gears in how we deliver our instruction and think about our standards. Our guest blogger shares how she worked through those shifts in her classroom.

Shifting Gears in the ELA Classroom

Please welcome Julie Faulkner, an English teacher from Tennessee.  Julie shares with us how a shift in your view of how to accomplish Common Core standards can change everything.  Thanks, Julie! I am excited to guest post for such an accomplished blog – Minds in Bloom! When Common Core was first introduced to me, I saw lists of standards, new testing requirements, and instructional shifts. I

Every teacher has the same dilemma: trying to assign homework that's fun. As far as reading is concerned, our guest blogger has you covered with this post: She's sharing all about an interactive reading response homework strategy that she uses in her own classroom! Get all of the details and a freebie in this post!

Reading Response Homework That’s Fun!

Please welcome Gina of Beach, Sand, and Lesson Plans!  She shares with us today a pretty snappy way to handle homework that’s fun for everyone.  She included a great freebie that you’ll want to download and rate for sure!  Thanks for sharing this great, idea Gina!   Hi everyone!  I’m Gina from Beach, Sand, and Lesson Plans, and I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger

72 Creative Ways to show what students know

72 Creative Ways for Students to Show What They Know

Toss that Test Aside! As we all know, students already get plenty of tests, so why not let your elementary students show what they learned creatively? Whether your students are reading independent books or your class has just finished an inquiry project on space or pioneers, a culminating project can really cement that learning. Whether you’re focused on building academics or building character, we have

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