Mentor Texts

books

Recently I read another Blog post from Fran which addressed Mentor Texts.

She mentioned the following points that I want to remember:

1. All books that are read aloud to students are NOT considered mentor texts.  It is ONE text that matches the genre that I am teaching and that is completley covered in post-its because it is my “Marked – Up Mentor Text”.

2.  I am not choosing my most favorite book for my mentor text because I am going to read it OVER and OVER and OVER as we study. It has to be a high quality book that has clear instructional points that works for the writers.

3. I am considering the interests of my students.  I am NOT choosing a mentor text because I LOVE it.  Instead, I am choosing a book that has content that the students will relate to – be a part of their lives – to increase their own belief in their ability.

Possible Mentor Texts:

Shana’s 10 Books of the Month for 2015-16
My Spring Robin – Rockwell
Charley’s First Night – Hest
Owl Moon – Yolen
Kiss Good Night – Hess
Short Cut – Crews
Goal! – Javaherbin
“Let’s Get a Pup!” said Kate. – Gordan
Z is for Moose – Bingham/Zelinski
One Green Apple – Bunting
Salt in His Shoes – Deloris Jordan
Lunch – Naomi Nye
Yard Sale – Bunting
Neighborhood Sharks – Roy

I love this thinking about Mentor Texts!  Next on my To-Do list is to Google the list of texts mentioned to see which ones I want to add to my personal library.  If you own any or have read any let me know!

Global Read Aloud

cropped-cdh27ovviae2x3gToday I learned about a program called the Global Read Aloud.  Has anyone else heard or participated in this program?  It was started in 2010 by a 7th grade teacher who wanted to expand her global collaboration.

The Global Read Aloud is meant to make the world a little smaller, to open our eyes to the rest of the world and look at all of our shared experiences.  How phenomenal for a child to know that the same book they are reading is being read in classrooms across the globe.

ANYONE can participate.  You do not have to be a classroom teacher.  Here are the guidelines as stated on the Blog:

The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to you. In the past we have used Twitter, Skype, Edmodo, our wiki, email, regular mail, Kidblog, Tackk, and any other tools we can think of to make these connections. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.

The 2015 Global Read Aloud is scheduled to kick off on October 5, 2015.  Interested in learning more?  Please click here.  I am going to be thinking how I can incorporate this program into my position.  If you will be doing it please let me know!

Stop in the Name of Reading!

teacher_ReadAloudRight now there are a few thousand lucky teachers attending TCRWP Summer Institute on Writing in NYC.  The week long PD kicked off yesterday and I happen to be following a Blog of one of these lucky participants (Resource – Full).  What I LOVE about Fran’s Blog right now is that she is SHARING her key learning from each day.  Yesterday she shared two NEW ways for me to think about reading aloud to students.

This is what she shared:

Reading Mentor Texts as Readers (3 types)

1. Classic Interactive Read Aloud

The teacher chooses text, places, action and the kind of action we want the students to DO in the text.

2. Shared Interactive Read Aloud

“So you guys know how usually I choose the place we will stop and the work we will do. If you think we should stop – ‘stop in the name of reading’ (hold up hand) and we will stop and you will tell us what to DO with that text.”

 Advantages of Shared Interactive Read Aloud:

  • As a tool it reveals to you when the students think it is worth stopping and sets the stage to work with secondary characters and their relationships!
  • Students can use any prompt to “talk/discuss”.
  • Students are listening differently for the “shared interactive read aloud”. 

3. Read Aloud Roles

The teacher looks at data to determine what does particular reader, club, or partner need to work on (could be Turn and Talk) and the teacher assigns the role for multiple practices.

Process:  The student receives a card with the role.  Student focuses on the card as the teacher is reading.

(Data changes as do the needs of kids change, so read alouds should change across the year.)

Our group role card said:  “Change – characters and their feelings, traits, lessons learned or not learned, setting, and tone”  Our task was to talk about the part of change we could see in the text that had been read.

I love the thought of hearing students saying: “Stop in the name of reading!” and then thinking critically about why they wanted to pause right then.  Fran also shared this graphic to illustrate how her brain felt at the end of day 1:

08 May 2001 --- Exploding head --- Image by © John Lund/CORBIS

08 May 2001 — Exploding head — Image by © John Lund/CORBIS

If you would like to find out what Fran learned about using these read aloud structures in writing please click on the red link above.  I highly recommend following her Blog as well to see what else she learns!