Last week, I learned what it means to “move the writer.” My AP Literature students are in the middle of a heavy duty poetry study, and I’ve tried to honor their requests for what activities might best help them tackle Poetry-with-a-capital-P. So far, students have studied plenty of classics and rites of passage poems, they’ve […]
If you’re anything like me, those few short weeks between fall and winter breaks are nothing short of an anxiety inducing shopping/baking/grading/wrapping/tying-up-loose-ends extravaganza. Each year, the time sandwiched between breaks seems like too little or not quite enough. But a few years ago, I cooked up a new dish called Food Lit. Food Lit was inspired […]
A tough start to the school year combined with the launch of a new unit created the perfect storm to force me to put into writing 3 beliefs that drive me as an educator.
Several years ago, I taught The House on Mango Street and I did what a lot of English teachers do while teaching The House on Mango Street — I assigned my students a vignette writing assignment using Sandra Cisnero’s work as the writing model. And I remember that assignment being good. My students worked hard […]
Loose parts are easier to examine, replicate, and experiment with. How do we break a mentor text down?
This fall, I’m teaching two classes. One starts with fiction and narrative writing, and the other launches with informational and persuasive texts. I committed to teaching each with a mentor text approach to analyzing our reading and crafting our own choice text. Within the first weeks, our narrative work was on a roll, but our […]
Mentor Texts: “Repetition” by Phil Kaye “In Childhood” by Sarah A. Chavez Skill: Seeking inspiration from outside sources Most discussions about writer’s workshop usually center around two components: mini lessons and conferring. They are the favorite children of workshop. But lately Rebekah and I have been turning our attention to mentor texts. When students leave […]