assessment · mentor texts · student work

We’ve Got Anchor Papers…Now What?

Have you ever found yourself with student anchor (exemplar) papers and not known what to do with them? Today's post provides several ideas for using student writing in powerful ways for assessment, instruction, and communication.

inquiry · mentor texts · touchstone texts · universal theme

A Deep Dive Into One Spectacular Mentor Text

In this post, I’ll describe the ways I would use Rabbit and the Motorbike as a mentor text for instruction with writers in upper elementary grades through middle school. This is an example of the thinking work I do in advance of sharing a mentor text with students, anticipating what students might notice and planning for the questioning I will do to help them name those craft moves. My goal is always to get kids to the HOW, because that is the level of understanding they need to be able to try strategies out in their own writing.

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?