Category Archive: mentoring

Growing Writers, One Challenge at a Time

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This year, our class motto has been “Push through the struggle.” Originally a mantra of one student, but quickly became the motto of the community. These are the words used to encourage each other to persevere in all learning tasks. The Slice Of Life Story Challenge was no exception!

Giving Thanks + a Giveaway

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Looking for a pre-Thanksgiving lesson to do with your students? Consider having them write gratitude poems or songs of thanks. Katherine Paterson and Pamela Dalton’s new book, Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs, can be used to inspire their writing. Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of this book.

Author & Illustrators as Mentors

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It is important to say the name of the author and the illustrator when you read a picture book.

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

Who are your mentors?

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I’ve been preparing for the graduate course, “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing,”  I’m teaching in June every time my daughter goes down for a nap, heads to sleep, etc.  I read through a… Continue reading

The Book Stack

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I have three gems for you. I. LOVE. These. Books. Love them. Micah Player previously worked for Paul Frank Industries. His illustrations and story are whimsical made me fall in love on the spot. Check… Continue reading

Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

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In one of the kindergarten classrooms I’ve been working in, we’ve been learning: Writers share their opinions. This has been a unit of study inspired by the Common Core State Standards, which place… Continue reading

Let Their Writing Take Your Breath Away

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Last week I was selecting some student writing to share with participants of the Conferring in Writing Seminar I’m leading at Penn State Harrisburg tomorrow.  I didn’t want to go down to my… 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

Mentors

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One of the common threads running through the All-Write Conference was having mentors. I’m wondering who are your favorite mentors to use in your classroom and to use for your own writing. For… Continue reading

Digital Storytelling: Technology & Mentors

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The latest copy of NCTE’s School Talk arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  The present issue is entitled “21st Century Literacies: Young Children Reading and Writing in a Digital World.” Ceil Candreva wrote one… Continue reading

Gradually Releasing Responsibility to Students

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Last year Karren Colbert wrote a blog post about using the Gradual Release Model with students when it comes to using mentor texts.  Instead of reviewing a book in this forum today, I… Continue reading

Planned & Unplanned Mentor Text Conferences

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I have been a bit of a mentor text aficionada for the past three and a half years.  It all started when I asked an incoming class of fifth graders this question at… 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

Using Asterisks

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During the demonstration of today’s minilesson I added asterisks to my WN Entry to show a flashback in time. I said something like, “I’m going to put some stars here, called asterisks, to… Continue reading

Teaching Craft to Kids

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I was perusing the Heinemann and Stenhouse Websites today looking for new books about the teaching of writing. I came across a text by Elizabeth Hale entitled Crafting Writers K-6. Like other new… Continue reading

Making Mentor Poems Accessible At Any Time

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Mentor Poems Bulletin Board, originally uploaded by teachergal. I realized the other day that it was unfair to only provide extra mentor poems, from my mentor poems binder, to kids when I conferred… Continue reading

What do you notice about this poem?

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Brainstorming About "Pencils" by Barbara Esbensen Originally uploaded by teachergal Since I came back today, my kids only had one day’s worth of formal poetry instruction. Hence, I wanted to spend some time… Continue reading

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

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Draft II: A Letter Back to a Student Originally uploaded by teachergal This note is a response to a student who turned-in her second draft yesterday. She did a phenomenal job mentoring herself… Continue reading