The Teacher’s Writer’s Notebook (Part 2)...

Apr 19, 2012 by

In yesterday’s blog I shared some thoughts on the importance of teachers keeping writer’s notebooks.  I also shared that, while I have found my writer’s notebook to be a valuable teaching tool during mini-lessons and individual conferences, it is becoming cumbersome because it has no organization to it.  When I first started this notebook, it contained random entries for no particular audience.  As I have begun to use it as a teaching tool, however, I’m realizing that I need it to have some order. One of my summer goals is to re-do my writer’s notebook so that it is more organized and user friendly when I confer with students. I want to have different sections for various genres and examples of writing that will accompany my units of study: personal narrative, poetry, essay, etc....

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The Teacher’s Writers Notebook...

Apr 18, 2012 by

If you are a writing teacher, I highly encourage you to keep a writer’s notebook.  Because I’m not much of a journal writer, keeping a writer’s notebook used to intimidate me, and it seemed like “one more thing” to put on my to-do list.  Then a few summers ago, I participated in the Oakland Writing Project which is affiliated with the National Writing Project.  For four weeks I had to live like a writer.  I had to keep a writer’s notebook, write some drafts, share them with my colleagues in a peer response group, and even publish a couple of pieces.  Guess what I found out?  I really enjoyed keeping a writer’s notebook and “living a writerly life” (as Ralph Fletcher would word it).  I vowed to continue adding to my notebook.  You can...

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Selecting Mentor Texts

Sep 16, 2009 by

With so many books filling the shelves of bookstores and libraries, how do we begin to select the right mentor texts for our mini-lessons?  The truth is, there isn’t just one right text that will do the trick.  As Katie Wood Ray explains in  Wondrous Words, writing style is individual but it is not unique.  In other words, a close look at the writing of many different authors reveals that authors use the same techniques or crafts.  As we begin to “read like a writer” we notice that there are more similarities than differences.  While there is not one right mentor text for each craft we hope to teach, some texts are obviously more effective than others.  Below is some criteria that can aid in selecting mentor texts (Nia, 1999 and Wood, 1999): Picture...

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