Results
Scaffolding Instruction in an Author’s Study

I bet you can name the author of the following passage: A band that’s so good should have someone to hear it, But it’s going so fast that it’s hard...

When Learning Gets Tricky, Go Back to the Pigs

I am in a third-grade classroom, the students gather on the rug, and I say, “I heard you have been learning how to think about the texts you are reading....

Choosing Mentor Texts for Demonstration Lessons

This workshop is designed for use with literacy coaches and school leaders leading demonstration lessons, but it can easily be adapted to use with teachers choosing mentor texts for minilessons...

Crafting the Basics: First-Grade Writing Conference

Bitsy Parks confers with Aubrey early in the year, connecting key text elements such as title, author, and the links between images and text to mentor texts used in whole-class...

Bringing Multiple Texts and Perspectives into Teaching Point of View

This year my fifth-grade students struggled a lot with point of view. I thought it was something they had already learned in the years before. They might have covered it,...

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

As we gather in our last community circle of the year, I pull out I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and read it to my attentive and quiet...

Using Mentor Texts Across the Writing Process

During our prep for state testing, Alex wrote lead after lead in her on-demand narrative pieces that mimicked the structure and phrasing of Owl Moon. She knew the lead to...

Mentor Texts for Letter Writing

A few months ago, Jennifer Serravallo posted a photo of children in her neighborhood writing letters and postcards. When we looked at this photo, we could almost hear the productive...

Great Books for African American Boys

When Serena saw the class list for her middle school language arts class, she knew that it was going to be a challenge. There were 18 boys in a class...

Giving Graphic Organizers a Go

When my literacy coach fanned out five graphic organizers for text structures (description, sequence, compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect) and suggested I ask each child to try roughing out a plan...

Building Community with a Shared Text

While I was teaching a children’s literature course for future educators at a local college, my adult students were assigned to read a middle grade book, Sunny Side Up by...

Using Stories to Launch Writers’ Notebooks

Twenty-two fourth graders are gathered on our blue carpet framed by bookshelves. One of us is perched on our stool, Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe in hand, scanning the faces in...

Building Relationships with Authors

The whole concept of mentorship is based on people and the learning relationships between them, so the only authentic way to approach the idea of mentorship with children is to...

Mentor Texts and Important Reminders

Sometimes when I am working with students, we delve into a mentor text and find so many elements to admire that it becomes overwhelming instead of inspiring. As with so...

Get in the Pool: Teachers Who Write

I always wanted to be a writer. As a little girl, I kept notebooks and folders filled with loose-leaf pages of my latest novel. I wrote a lot of haunted-house...

Using Paired Texts with Beginning Readers

“Have you seen my cat?” read Chloe, a kindergartner, purposefully pointing to each word as she read it. “Wow!” said Bridget, Chloe’s surprised teacher. “How did you know what that...

Replicating or Deepening?

I remember well during my first year of teaching middle school when an experienced (and intimidating) colleague reprimanded me for “stealing” a popular poem he claimed was “his” to teach....

Opening the Year with Optimism

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.                                                            Henry David Thoreau In early August I invited my students from last year to meet up with...

Using Mentor Texts to Craft Leads

“Hook the reader” is a phrase that we hear often during writing instruction when students are crafting their leads or introductions for their writing pieces, and it is, essentially, one...

Mentors for Process and Habits

                            If you are familiar with David Shannon’s book David Goes to School, it is clear that...