character development · content-area writing · fiction · giveaway · mentor texts · narrative · personal narrative · poetry

Tapping Into the Power of Some New Mentor Texts

Mentor texts are important co-teachers in the writing workshop! Here's an in-depth look at the mentor texts I talked about in a recent podcast. After you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment after on this post for a chance to win all ten of the featured books!

agency · elaboration · goals · mentor texts · small group · teacher writing · writing workshop

A Small Group in Action: Elaboration Strategies, Here We Come!

Having walked around a classroom of fourth-grade writers yesterday, I had pinpointed four writers who were all ready to think about elaboration strategies. This post describes the first session of a few to inspire these fourth-grade writers to use more elaboration strategies.

Expanding the Reach with Small Group Work Blog Series · mentor texts · minilesson · self-assessment · small group

A Few Tips for Small Group Instruction: Expanding the Reach With Small Group Work

Small group instruction is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate instruction while offering opportunities for collaboration and connections between students. Here are some tips to increase the leverage and impact of your writing instruction. 

mentor texts · nonfiction

5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Review + Giveaway

Get ready to add many amazing nonfiction picture books to your TBR list! 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, by Melissa Stewart and Marlene Correia, is THE professional text you need to learn more about the different types of nonfiction and how to enrich your writing lessons through nonfiction mentor texts! Be sure to comment for a chance to win your own copy of 5 Kinds of Nonfiction.

mentor texts · Teachers who write · writing workshop

Mining Your Writing for Mentor Texts

My March 2021 SOLSC blog posts can be used as mentor texts as my class embarks on the April 2021 Classroom SOLSC! Read on for more details about using your own writing as mentor texts for your students.

mentor texts · picture book · slice of life · small moment · SOLSC Classroom Challenge

An Extraordinary Way to Inspire Writing About Ordinary Moments

Whether you're about to embark on the 9th Annual Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge or you're about to begin a unit on poetry where you want to encourage students to capture the beauty of their ordinary lives in verse, consider using Extraordinary! as a mentor text. Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of Extraordinary!

blogging · mentor texts · Slice of Life Story Challenge · writing workshop

Blogging to Build a Writing Habit

Preparing for a presentation on how blogging can help you build a writing habit, I've been reflecting on the power of blogging. The rewards are many. How has blogging shaped your life?

advanced writers · conferring · differentiation · Meet Writers Where They Are Blog Series · mentor texts · personalization · reading-writing connections

Imagination Bait: Meet (and Hook) Advanced Writers Where They Are

My strategy for meeting the needs of advanced writers: personalization. Strategic, pre-planned opportunities, set like a vision trap to capture the imagination of each writer. Once caught, these writers can be reeled in to a level of complexity they had no idea they were ready (and willing) to try.

mentor texts

Resources Teachers Can Share With Families: How To Use A Mentor Text At Home

In the midst of pandemic-teaching, I know it can be hard to find the time to create resources, not only for your students, but for the adults in their lives as well. My hope is that this post and others can help you with that.

digital tools · Distance Learning · ELL · mentor texts · tcrwp · vocabulary · writing workshop

Expanding Vocabulary and Use of Transitions in Students’ Writing

The work of Elfrieda (Freddy) Hiebert, professor and founder of textproject.org, explains further that “lists do not help our kids retain or expand their word knowledge. Students need networks of words that are grounded in ideas.”

mentor texts · Voices from the Community · writing workshop

I Write Therefore I Am: Using Mentor Texts to Study Identity in Writing Workshop

Today is a Voices From the Community post, written by Logan Beth Fisher. She writes, "Writing workshop is the perfect time of the day in which to create opportunities for students to truly do a deep dive into their identities. The more chances a child has to examine the things that make them who they are, the greater the chance that they will broaden their capacity to generate ideas in which to write. Like any other good writing unit, educators can rely on mentor texts to help model not only the craft of writing but will also offer ways in which students can consider their own identities based on the theme or subject of the text."

craft · Craft Moves · mentor texts · picture book

10 Books Celebrating Black Joy and Daily Life

While books about oppression, struggle, and suffering are of critical importance to read and discuss with children, so are books about Black joy and about the daily lives of Black children. I've curated a list of ten new (i.e., published in 2019 and 2020) texts that focus on Black people living life. Depending on who your students are, these books could serve as mirrors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors.