Teaching is often a balancing act. We’re constantly balancing, sometimes battling, the seemingly opposing forces of lesson planning vs. grading, eating the cake in the workroom vs. not eating the cake in the workroom, literature study vs. writing study. But why can’t we have our cake and eat it, too? And by cake, I mean writing. […]
We were so excited to chat with Brian on an episode of one of our favorite education podcasts, Talks With Teachers! Listen to us talk all things mentor texts here!
Mentor Texts: Excerpts from Nathan Rabin’s You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me Writing Techniques: Writing Memoir Taking Risks Humour Background: Early in the school year, my Grade 12 classes are traditionally neck deep in memoir. Each student is reading one, and we are writing a variety of memoir based pieces. I get […]
“What do you think about when you hear the word essay?” A moment of silence. Some confused looks. Others, blank stares. A few, smirks. IT’S LATE AFTERNOON, September, last period. My AP Lang class and I are in the midst of finishing up our discussion of Joan Didion’s wonderful essay, “On Keeping a Notebook.” It’s a relatively […]
Imagine you’re eating at your favorite go-to restaurant, that small table for two in the back corner by the window. You place an order for dinner without the menu. You have been here more times than you care to count. You don’t need a menu! Now imagine that the head chef at this restaurant has […]
When writers use what they learn from mentor texts to create tools that invite experimentation, they’re making writing with mentor texts.
I’ve spent the last few years of my career as an English teacher working on reclaiming the word essay. Students, for many reasons, react badly to that word. It’s not just because our assigning of it means they have to do some work, there’s something there. My theory is that a lot of teachers have […]
Last week I participated in a Twitter chat hosted by @TalksWTeachers and this blog’s creators: @AllisonMarchett and @RebekahODell1. It was a fast-paced flurry of awesome ideas and thought-provoking questions, but one question in particular kept me thinking the next day. Allison posed the following question: What do you struggle to teach and how might mentor […]
Today’s guest post comes from Kelly Pace. Kelly teaches eleventh grade International Baccalaureate English and Theory of Knowledge in Hanover County, Virginia. She has taught ninth through twelfth grades over her eighteen-year teaching career. Connect with her on Twitter @KellyAPace. Mentor Text: There’s a Brock Turner in All of o(UR) Lives I don’t know why I […]
My word-of-the-year, the thought on which I want to focus my energies and instructional experimentation, is “talk”. James Britton famously wrote that “writing floats on a sea of talk.” I want my students’ writing to float … and then to fly. So, yes, I want them to write five times as much as I can […]