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.

conventions · craft · drafting · touchstone texts

Learning More About Conventions Through the Close-Study of a Text

I've been thinking a lot about conventions and their importance. Without proper conventions, how can a piece of writing hold its own? All of our young writers need to realize that published writers use conventions when they're drafting, not just as an editing tool. There's a new book coming out on Tuesday, 3/10 entitled Alex… Continue reading Learning More About Conventions Through the Close-Study of a Text

conventions · craft · punctuation · touchstone texts

Noticing Exclamation Points and Periods in a Published Text

I've been preparing for a p.d. session on conventions that I'm leading with one of my colleagues next Friday.  Hence, I'm trying to look at picture books with an eye for grammar and mechanics.  Over the weekend I picked up a new, adorable book called Artichoke Boy, written by Scott Mickelson, and looked at it… Continue reading Noticing Exclamation Points and Periods in a Published Text

books · mentor texts · touchstone texts

Read Alouds That Support the Writing Curriculum, IRA Books, & Touchstone Texts

I've been working on updating the list of books I've read to my kids this year since I think it's good to keep a list, of sorts. I have the book covers photocopied and hanging from the clotheslines in my classroom, but there's no substitute for a good list. Here's a preview of what "the… Continue reading Read Alouds That Support the Writing Curriculum, IRA Books, & Touchstone Texts

morning meeting share · news and announcements · sharing · slice of life · small moment · touchstone texts · wn entry · writer's notebook

Eight Slice of My Life –> Sharing With My Students

This will be the cover page for the eight slice of life stories I wrote this past week. I'm going to be sharing them with my students so that they, too, can take part in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. (I'm going to discuss this during the News & Announcements Part of our… Continue reading Eight Slice of My Life –> Sharing With My Students

fiction · touchstone texts · Wordless Wednesday · Writer's Notebook Wednesday · writing

Why all the photos? Where’s WNW?

I've been hard at work on this piece of fiction writing for my classroom demonstrations during Writing Workshop. Hence, other than the writing I've been doing online (which is quite a bit), I haven't been able to wrap my head around a charge for Writer's Notebook Wednesday (aka: WNW). WNW WILL be back soon, but… Continue reading Why all the photos? Where’s WNW?

angela johnson · fiction · inspiration · mentor texts · touchstone texts

Time to Write the Entire Draft

My colleague Kate and I were remarking that this unit of study on fiction is taking our students longer (i.e., longer for their drafts to come together). Hence, I decided that it's time for ME to get a full, working draft of my story together so that I can really use it as a touchstone… Continue reading Time to Write the Entire Draft

picture book · touchstone texts

A new title

When I read Jamaica's Find for the purpose of introducing it as a touchstone text to my students last week, I felt as though many of them thought the book was a little young for them. However, one of my students really embraced it. In fact, he went home and discovered that he had another… Continue reading A new title

immersion · letter writing · mentoring · persuasive writing · touchstone texts

Ideas Galore!!!

Ideas Galore Originally uploaded by teachergal I disseminated a packet of four touchstone texts, written by my former students, that will serve as mentors for my students to use in the persuasive letter unit of study we began today. The letters I gave them as touchstones, which we read together before the WW Time began,… Continue reading Ideas Galore!!!