I’m getting ready for Family-Teacher Conferences tomorrow. As I do, I’m putting together folders for each family, which includes the following things:
As I was perusing my students’ on-demand narratives, I noticed that a couple of them used one of my former students’ personal narratives as a mentor text. This student’s personal narrative, which was written over two years ago, included code-switching (i.e., dialogue in Spanish with the translation in parenthesis). First of all, how smart was it for a couple of kids to use a mentor text on an on-demand assessment when time is short! Second, these students had a former student’s piece of writing in their folders, to turn to for help, when they got stuck on something, which in this case was how to make the dialogue sound true to life while still helping the reader understand what was being said.
I was truly amazed by these students who chose to use this kid’s writing. I think this use of mentor texts truly illustrates the power of having our present students stand on the shoulders of our former students. While our former students might not always write with perfect syntax or include enough description, there is a lot that our present students can glean from other children’s writing.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.