Category Archive: mentor author

A Closer Look

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Try typing out a mentor text to get a closer look.

Creating Classroom Environments: Places for Writers to Grow

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Every summer I dream of my classroom. When considering my third grade writers, what do they need to grow and how can I provide classroom spaces for that?

Writing Mentors

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All writers need mentors. Who are yours?

Writing Fiction? Author Megan Jean Sovern Provides a Host of Inspiration

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Today’s interview holds a host of insights into the way in which Megan Jean Sovern, author of The Meaning of Maggie, develops characters, brings themes to the fore, and plans plot trajectory. Suffice it to say, I came away more than a little inspired.

Wow. Just Wow.

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Awhile ago I was a 7th grade language arts teacher. My last year in the classroom I had one of the coolest classes that may have ever been compiled. It was the last… Continue reading

The Book Stack…

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Or maybe this post should be called: “The Book Stack?” with a big bold question mark. Seriously, I have stacks and stacks and stacks of books we’ve read, books we want to read,… Continue reading

I’ve been studying sentence structure…

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I was watching or listening or reading something this week — I don’t remember what — but the message was: You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. True. (And probably… Continue reading

The Carpenter’s Gift + A Giveaway

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Every year, just before December sets in, I ask the publishers who are kind enough to send review copies to me for books about Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza so I can inform readers… Continue reading

New Thinking About Mentor Texts + a Giveaway

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I was recently offered a position as an adjunct professor starting in 2012.  I will be teaching a graduate course about using children’s literature to teach writing.  As I prepare to teach this… Continue reading

Showing a Story

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Recently, I taught a minilesson about showing a story. In typical intermediate grade fashion, students were writing stories filled with struggles, but slim on creating a picture in the reader’s mind. My minilesson… Continue reading

Highlights from the Week

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I have been in a lot of different writing workshops lately. Just this week I’ve been in 13 writing workshops and have met with 13 different teachers in either reflective practice meetings or… Continue reading

Mentor Texts in the Midst of Writing

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When we think of using mentor texts when teaching writing workshop, often our first thought is to use them at the beginning of a unit of study so students can gain a sense… Continue reading

Letter to the Author: Part of the “Share a Story, Shape a Future” Blog Literacy Tour

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Check out the “Share a Story, Shape a Future” Blog Literacy Tour.  This post relates to today’s theme, “Literacy My Way/Literacy Your Way,” of the Tour, which is hosted by Susan Stephenson at… Continue reading

Writing Inspiration

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Last weekend, when we were getting hit with the first big snowstorm, I was looking through our cable guide to find a movie.  A film starring Sean Connery, Rob Brown, and Anna Paquin,… Continue reading

Author Studies Help Children Write Better

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Last month I was consulting in a school with some primary grade teachers. They expressed concerns about infusing mentor texts into their classrooms. I provided them with some language for developing theories about… Continue reading

Meta-Language for Talking About Texts

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I was just reviewing my notes from the course I took with Lucy at the TCRWP Summer Writing Institute last month. I came across a page of notes I took where Lucy summarized… Continue reading

SOLS: Mine Forever.

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Prior to adult writing time, I read aloud Jamie Lee Curtis’ book, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born.  Then, thinking about SOLSC today, I decided to attempt to write about… Continue reading

Being inspired by a great picture book…

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Today was spent immersing my students in the short fiction genre by reading picture books. Here are the texts my students read and enjoyed either by themselves or with a partner: Beatrice’s Goat… Continue reading

WN Entry: Moving

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Right now I feel like the young girl (actually Patricia MacLachlan) in Maclachlan’s Memoir What You Know First. I’m preparing for a move from one east coast city to another and it feel… Continue reading