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Fourth-Grade Minilesson: Character Traits

Gigi McAllister helps her fourth graders develop the characters in their writing with a minilesson. She uses three mentor texts, one of which is her own writing.

End-of-Year Read Alouds

Bitsy Parks explains how the ending weeks of read alouds in her first-grade classroom are designed to celebrate learning and shared experiences from the entire year.

Using Mentor Texts Across the Writing Process

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills describe how they use one mentor text, Owl Moon, to teach multiple lessons on craft during a writing unit.

Mentor Texts for Letter Writing

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share some of their favorite mentor texts for a unit on letter writing.

Great Books for African American Boys

Shari Frost deals with the failure of a classic read-aloud text to reach young African American boys by finding more engaging books for them.

Giving Graphic Organizers a Go

Mary Lee Hahn is skeptical about how her fifth-grade students might use graphic organizers. But once she tries them alongside students, she begins to see their utility.

Building Community with a Shared Text

Christy Rush-Levine finds a community of new teachers bonds over a text highlighting addiction struggles. The experience leads her to think through what elements are essential for whole-class texts in her middle school classroom.

Using Stories to Launch Writers’ Notebooks

If you're looking for the perfect launch for writers' notebooks this school year, you might want to begin with story.  Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain how.

Building Relationships with Authors

Katie DiCesare is helping her students move from mentor texts to seeing authors as mentors through their websites and other digital resources.

Mentor Texts and Important Reminders

Melanie Meehan shares four important tips for using mentor texts effectively with students of any age.

Get in the Pool: Teachers Who Write

Ruth Ayres shares how she was always someone who wrote — until she became a teacher. Getting back into writing was all about motivating her reluctant students.

Using Paired Texts with Beginning Readers

Shari Frost explains how teachers can use paired texts to help young readers build their skills, starting with books they already know and love.

Replicating or Deepening?

Jennifer Schwanke finds teachers can get territorial about texts, "claiming" them for their grade level. She explores when it is appropriate to repeat the use of a text in subsequent grades.

Opening the Year with Optimism

Katrina Edwards shares her plans for presenting children's literature to help her first-grade students acquire the skills needed for being positive and proactive problem solvers.

Using Mentor Texts to Craft Leads

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills carefully select the first mentor text for crafting leads in their fourth-grade classroom.

Mentors for Process and Habits

Ruth Ayres shares some of her favorite mentors and mentor texts for developing good writing processes and habits.

From Mentor Texts to Mentors in First Grade

Katie DiCesare uses technology in her first-grade classroom so that students can see the lives of the authors who create the texts they love.

Mentor Texts for Crafting Nonfiction

Melanie Meehan talks with a third-grade teacher about how she helps students focus on craft elements in nonfiction mentor texts.

Modeling Nonfiction Writing for English Language Learners

Stella Villalba models nonfiction writing for her first- and second-grade English language learners, and in the process integrates vocabulary instruction into her lesson. This is the first video in a three-part series.

From Compliments to Challenges: The Conferring Card

Melanie Meehan uses a conferring card in her writing conference with Cara to ensure she has a record of strengths and revision possibilities that were discussed.

Extended Inquiry with Article of the Week

Gretchen Schroeder finds the article of the week activity is an excellent vehicle for learning about content literacy gaps in student background knowledge and how to fill them.

Getting Mentor Texts in Students’ Hands

Jillian Heise discovers her students need more access to the mentor texts she reads aloud, so she develops strategies to get them to students.
 

Understanding Character Traits: Part 2

Jason DiCarlo continues his third-grade reading workshop lesson on character traits with a mentor text. This is the second video in a three-part series.

Mentor Texts and Memoir Writing

Gretchen Schroeder finds one mentor text has many uses as her high school students explore memoir writing.

Resources for Quick-Writes

Katherine Sokolowski shares some of her favorite resources to jumpstart student interest in writing.

Moving Beyond Bed-to-Bed Stories in First Grade

Katrina Edwards moves her first graders from writing "bed-to-bed" stories early in the year with a mentor text and writing activity that promotes self-discipline and a growth mindset.

Ralph Fletcher on Mentor Texts (PODCAST)

If you’re spending some time sifting through new books and thinking about teaching with them, you’ll enjoy this podcast with Ralph Fletcher.

Using Picture Books to Foster Resilience

Gigi McAllister uses picture books to strengthen her fourth grade classroom community.

Researching Like Writers: From Read-Aloud to Notebooks

Katie Doherty finds read alouds are a valuable tool for developing middle school writers.

Nine Picture Books for Teaching Mindfulness

Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins conclude their series on integrating children’s literature and mindful teaching.

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