Making Mentor Texts Meaningful and Memorable

Want to make those amazing mentor texts you spend countless hours hand picking for your mini-lessons more meaningful?  This is a simple strategy I've used to sear these texts into my students' little second grade brains and to help them see the connection between the books we read and their own writing (you could do this in reader's notebooks too, but so far I've only done it in writing).
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Just go find a picture of the book - a simple Google image search will do the trick - copy and paste rows and columns of the picture of the book cover in a PowerPoint slide (PowerPoint is WAY easier to play with graphics in than Word), print out the slide and cut up a small picture of the book cover for every student.
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
As a follow-up mini-lesson after reading the book to the class, students can glue the copy of the book cover in their writer's notebooks and brainstorm ideas for writing that stem from this mentor text.  As I peeked over the kiddos' shoulders during workshop time yesterday I found one of my sweet girlies going back to her All the Places to Love page and adding more ideas of favorite places she could write about.  Success!

Here are some of the mentor texts I love to use to inspire ideas for writing:
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Looking Back: A Book of Memories is such a fun text!  I use the chapter where Lois Lowry describes how she went about choosing her dog.  The kids absolutely love seeing the dog that she ended up choosing and can almost always come up with ideas for pet stories.  I also read the chapter where Lois found a dead rat and brought it home thinking it would make a good pet.  It always takes a few minutes for the kids to figure out what she brought home and put in the oven.  I love their little smiles when they finally figure out what happened.

All the Places to Loveis a perfect book to inspire ideas for writing based on favorite places.  It's also a great one to model word choice.  

Knots in My Yo-Yo Stringis a book that really inspired me as a writer.  I use this book as a start for students to draw a map of a place they know well and jot down stories they have in this place.  

Alphabet books can be tricky, but one of my favorites is O is for Orca: An Alphabet Book.  It is a great model for short but interesting research.  Be careful though - if you let kids create their own alphabet books they might just work on them for the entire year.

Do you have any go-to mentor texts to inspire writing?  Please share them!  I am always looking for new books to add to my "writing teacher" shelf.
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Making Mentor Texts Meaningful and Memorable

Want to make those amazing mentor texts you spend countless hours hand picking for your mini-lessons more meaningful?  This is a simple strategy I've used to sear these texts into my students' little second grade brains and to help them see the connection between the books we read and their own writing (you could do this in reader's notebooks too, but so far I've only done it in writing).
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Just go find a picture of the book - a simple Google image search will do the trick - copy and paste rows and columns of the picture of the book cover in a PowerPoint slide (PowerPoint is WAY easier to play with graphics in than Word), print out the slide and cut up a small picture of the book cover for every student.
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
As a follow-up mini-lesson after reading the book to the class, students can glue the copy of the book cover in their writer's notebooks and brainstorm ideas for writing that stem from this mentor text.  As I peeked over the kiddos' shoulders during workshop time yesterday I found one of my sweet girlies going back to her All the Places to Love page and adding more ideas of favorite places she could write about.  Success!

Here are some of the mentor texts I love to use to inspire ideas for writing:
A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher A simple way to keep track of mentor texts you use to teach writing skills in your students' writer's notebooks AND use them as a starting point for students to brainstorm ideas for  their own writing - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Looking Back: A Book of Memories is such a fun text!  I use the chapter where Lois Lowry describes how she went about choosing her dog.  The kids absolutely love seeing the dog that she ended up choosing and can almost always come up with ideas for pet stories.  I also read the chapter where Lois found a dead rat and brought it home thinking it would make a good pet.  It always takes a few minutes for the kids to figure out what she brought home and put in the oven.  I love their little smiles when they finally figure out what happened.

All the Places to Loveis a perfect book to inspire ideas for writing based on favorite places.  It's also a great one to model word choice.  

Knots in My Yo-Yo Stringis a book that really inspired me as a writer.  I use this book as a start for students to draw a map of a place they know well and jot down stories they have in this place.  

Alphabet books can be tricky, but one of my favorites is O is for Orca: An Alphabet Book.  It is a great model for short but interesting research.  Be careful though - if you let kids create their own alphabet books they might just work on them for the entire year.

Do you have any go-to mentor texts to inspire writing?  Please share them!  I am always looking for new books to add to my "writing teacher" shelf.
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Last Day for Gift Card and Thirty-One Giveaway!

Win $25 gift cards or a Thirty-One Zip-Top Utility Tote!  It's the final day of the We Love Super Teachers Giveaway and we'll be announcing winners tomorrow, so don't forget to enter!  You can go to the original post to read more or enter in the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck and happy Sunday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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We LOVE Super Teachers Giveaway! Gift Cards and Thirty-One Bags!



Hello fabulous teacher friends and happy February!  I've been a blog slacker lately as I've been using my snow days (7 so far in January-crazy Michigan!) to work on my newest products.  My goal for 2013-14 was to get the differentiated homework I've worked on for years into user friendly monthly packs, and I'm more than halfway done.  Hooray!  I just uploaded my biggest product yet and thought Valentine's Day could be a great time to give some away!
 
My Super Homework Pack will eventually cost $75 and will contain an entire year's worth of homework menus and printables.  Right now it includes September-February, so I will e-mail monthly updates to all three winners as I finish the additional packs.   Even if you have your homework system in place, the printables will be a great addition to your classroom files.  I pull them out all the time for challenges for my second graders!  I am also giving away a $25 gift card to the place of your choice because I love gift cards and figure you do too!    
My fabulous second grade teammate, Brandy Resman, is an amazingly hard working Thirty-One consultant and has graciously offered to add some Thirty-One amazingness to the giveaway.  If you're not familiar with Thirty-One Gifts, they are a company that offers durable and adorable bags and totes in a variety of styles and prints.  They can all be personalized too!  Brandy is giving away a zip-top organizing tote to one lucky winner, and a $25 Thirty-One gift card to another.  She is also offering an additional *10% off* orders through the Super Teacher Giveaway Event.  Thank you Brandy for your awesome-ness!  I received two Thirty-One medium utility totes for Christmas and I love them!  I used them for my holiday trips as airport carry on bags and little Lily even took a few naps in one.  The zip up top is such a nice feature that my bags don't have.  I would love one of those!  Look at this darling fabric too!
We will choose 3 winners next Monday, February 10th.  One winner will receive the choice gift card, one will receive the zip-top tote, and the third will receive the Thirty-One gift card.  ALL winners will receive the Super Homework Pack!  You can pin daily, so please come back each day for additional pinning entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway *Here’s how to place an order and qualify for 10% off:*
*Go to Brandy’s Thirty-One Gifts site.
*Click "Place an Order" and then click on "Shop Now" in the Super Teacher Giveaway area *Place your order and get 10% off!
*Please note: Brandy will have to manually deduct the 10% off after the online event is closed so you won’t see the 10% discount until after she manually submits the orders.

Good luck and Happy February!







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