Category Archive: mentor texts

The Opposite of Loneliness + a Book Giveaway

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I rarely read collections of short stories or essays, but I made an exception for The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. It’s a book written by a debut author. Unfortunately, it’s her final title since she died tragically in 2012.

Sharing Some Exciting News

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I’m proud to announce my second professional book with Stenhouse Publishers will be coming to you in the winter of 2016.

Interview with Susan VanHecke + a Giveaway

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I’m always looking for exemplary informational mentor texts. When Under the Freedom Tree crossed my desk, I knew I found one I wanted to share with you.  It’s the story of the first contraband… Continue reading

Biographies with Heart

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Using mentor texts and a notebook entry to think about biographical writing

Valentine’s Day Writing + a Book Giveaway

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Valentine’s Day is on Friday! Consider doing a read aloud to inspire your students to write poems, comic books, or short stories they can give to a special friend or close family member in lieu of a box of chocolates. Here are five books that will inspire primary, upper elementary, and middle school writers to craft writing that expresses heartfelt emotions.

Tailoring Our Teaching: Strategy Lessons Support Writers

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Strategy lessons allow you to meet with a small group of writers during independent writing time. They’re essentially small-group minilessons based on needs you notice several writers exhibiting.

A Mentor Text You Can Use in Many Ways + a Book Giveaway

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The Invisible Boy, a new book that deals with the isolation quiet children can feel, is the kind of book that serves multiple purposes in an elementary school classroom (e.g., interactive read aloud book, teaching demonstration text, mentor text for strategy lessons). Previews of the book and giveaway information come at the bottom of the post.

Three “just right” texts to investigate the craft of memoir.

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I love our writing workshop shift  from personal narrative to memoir.  It comes at the perfect time of year: our notebooks have filled up with writing lists and entries, our weekly slice of… Continue reading

The Day the Crayons Quit + a Giveaway

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You can use The Day the Crayons Quit as a mentor text to teach everything from personification to persuasive letter writing. Find out how to use this text with your students. Also, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book for your classroom library.

Letting Go As Student Interests Take the Wheel

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Kindergarten teacher Valerie Geshwind helps her students find their passions and their voice by honoring their interests, engaging them in a play-like writing workshop, & by supporting them as individuals.

Teaching Toolkits: Making Instruction Visible

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Anna Gratz Cockerille provides tips for organizing and developing teaching toolkits you can use across the school year.

Thoughts on Writing from the Author of The Mighty Lalouche

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NOTE FROM STACEY: Matthew Olshan wrote The Mighty Lalouche specifically for illustrator Sophie Blackall to illustrate since he was familiar with her fascination of turn-of-the-century boxers.  My interest was piqued by this author-illustrator… Continue reading

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 5 of 5)

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My students were always shocked to learn that my favorite subject to teach wasn’t writing… it was social studies!  I was a history minor in college and almost considered getting my first master’s… Continue reading

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 4 of 5)

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An interview with Author Germano Zullo + a giveaway of his new book, Line 135.

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 3 of 5)

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If you’re planning to launch independent writing projects in your class during the final weeks of school, then you’ll most likely have several students who might want to write a book about a… Continue reading

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 2 of 5)

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The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten can be used to help kids find a topic and to teach students a variety of craft moves. Read more about this book and then leave a comment if you’d like a chance to win a copy.

Preparing a Keynote

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The keynote speeches I’m preparing to deliver this summer have been on my mind for weeks. In an effort to craft inspiring speeches, I’ve been looking for some guidance so I move from outlining to writing the speeches.

Inspiring Independent Writing Project Mentor Text (Part 1 of 5)

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal provides insight into her new word play book. Chronicle Books offers a giveaway of the book to one reader who comments on this post.

A Biography for Baseball Season + a Giveaway

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You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!   (The Back Story) by Author Jonah Winter             Though I do understand that what I’m being called on to do here is talk about my research process… Continue reading

#slice2013: 13 of 31

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Another Commenting Challenge! Please take the time to read and comment on CLASSROOM slices. There are several young slicers joining the challenge to write for a month. Hope on over to the Classroom… Continue reading