Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom
Design by A Bird in Hand Blog Designs. Powered by Blogger.
Mentor texts help students learn how to read like writers and write like readers- yes, even in the early years! In fact, K-2 teachers are a super-big-help to the upper grades teachers because their use of mentor texts helps ingrain the importance of reading, as well as to write like the authors we love.


In the primary grades, it's important to choose mentor texts that are engaging. First, read the book to them for pleasure- you want them to enjoy the book! Once they've listened to the book, you can go back and discuss (and maybe re-read) the content for reading comprehension. Finally, you can incorporate the mentor text into your writing lessons! With a good mentor text, you will be able to teach multiple skills across reading, writing, grammar, and maybe even science and social studies!

Read Like a Writer!

Reading like a writer does not come naturally for little ones. You will want to do a lot of modeling and "think-alouds" with a text they are familiar with- point out characters, dialogue, the author's word choice, the way a problem is solved, the way the author might have surprised you... and so on.

One way to help students notice the style, structure, and conventions of great writing is to use mentor sentences! Students are encouraged to notice what makes the sentence a good sentence, and then are able to practice writing their own sentence just like the mentor sentence. (If you are unfamiliar with mentor sentences, you can read more about them here and here, too!) There is also a grammar focus in first and second grade mentor sentences, so you can touch on parts of speech and conventions during mentor sentence time, too!

Write Like a Reader!

Once you and the students have analyzed how the author wrote a mentor text, you will want them to practice writing that way, too. Try to choose authors that have series of books when you can- it's a great way to see how consistent they are!

One of my favorite authors to use is Doreen Cronin with her Diary series!
    

Read these books with your students and take note of the first-person point-of-view diary format with your students. Talk about how the characters reacted to certain events, and how that is similar or different to how they would react in the same situation. Also discuss the things Doreen Cronin included that is typical of that animal (for example, the worm digging in the dirt, and hanging out on the sidewalk after the rain). Have students write their own "Diary of a ____" story with a different animal or insect than in the books!

Teaching about animals or insects in science? BONUS! You can incorporate that into your writing time by allowing them to choose something they've learned about and include characteristics just like Doreen did! (Diary of a Caterpillar, anyone?!)

You can try out some lessons that I've created for Diary of a Worm by clicking on the links below! They are great for first and second graders and MAYBE some high kindergartners, too!
   

Want to see some more mentor text ideas? 
Be sure to check out this pin board, put together by The Reading Crew!


If you're on the fence about using mentor sentences, Ideas By Jivey can help you decide once and for all if using mentor sentences in your classroom is right for you.

Have you been straddling that proverbial fence about whether or not to start mentor sentences in your classroom? I'll admit, they aren't right for everyone. Below, I've listed three reasons why mentor sentences might not be a good fit for you.

If you can't live without the grammar workbook, mentor sentences aren't right for you.
If you prefer your students to sit quietly at their desk and work out of a grammar workbook, then mentor sentences aren't right for you. Mentor sentences engage students in discussion about grammar, style, and conventions. If you were to teach grammar through mentor sentences, students would be getting a spiral review of many concepts every week, instead of just the one skill on the page in the workbook. There would be a lot of great conversation about things they notice. They would get excited about learning about style and conventions. If you like the groans and sighs you get when you tell students to pull out their grammar workbook, then mentor sentences aren't right for you.

If you don't like reading authentic literature to students, mentor sentences aren't right for you.
If you don't like reading authentic literature to students, then mentor sentences aren't right for you. If you detest picture books that engage and excite students, then go ahead and stop reading here because mentor sentences just aren't right for you.

If you love reading story after story of simple and/or run-on sentences with no description, vivid language, capitals, or periods, then mentor sentences aren't right for you.
If you love reading story after story of simple and/or run-on sentences with no description, vivid language, capitals, or periods, then mentor sentences aren't right for you. Mentor sentences will show your students all the RIGHT things they should be doing in their writing. Students will imitate fabulous sentences (from those books in reason #2) and become authors. They will learn how to revise their writing to make it even better. But, if you prefer to read stories that put you to sleep at night, then please do not use mentor sentences in your classroom.


After reading these three reasons, if you realized that maybe...actually... you might be a teacher that is JUST RIGHT to implement mentor sentences in your classroom, click here to read all about HOW to implement them in upper grades, and even see a video of them in action in my classroom! First and second grade teachers, click here for the how-to and a video, and K-1, click here for your video and how-to post!

Ready to give them a whirl, but don't want to jump in head-first? Try out some free lessons with your students!

Are you all-in, ready to go? Your best bet (and best bargain) is to get the bundle that best fits your needs! Check out the descriptions of the bundles to see complete book lists!

It is NEVER too late in the year to start mentor sentences! Sure, you'll see more growth in your students if you start from week 1, but you will still see the lightbulbs come on over their heads in week 31 if you wanted to start then! 

What are you waiting for?

How did the last week of April get here so fast?! For many of you (some with less than five weeks left of school), you are beginning to think about how to wind down the year with some fun activities. But if the majority of you are like I was... you want to plan fun things, but your to-do list is sooo long and you are just so worn out! There were lots of things I would have done if only it had already been pretty much created for me. And that doesn't mean you are a bad teacher... it means you are a busy, tired teacher.

You've probably seen the fun balloon pop countdowns before- perfect for ANY grade! But as mentioned above, sitting down to think of all the activities that could go in the balloons and typing them out might be one of those things that keeps getting moved to the bottom of the list... and then suddenly it's the last day of school... so I'm here to help you cross that one off!! But sorry, I can't come to your room and blow the balloons up for you.

In this free download, I have provided MORE ideas than you could use to give you plenty to choose from. Most of what I've listed are "free" things to do. Some require students to wear or bring something from home. Don't want to do any kind of food? Skip that page! Do as many as you want- you can make it a twenty-day-countdown or even a five-day-countdown! Make it work for you! 


Cut apart the slips you want to use and roll them up, then stick each rolled up slip into a balloon before blowing it up.

One of the struggles you might have is actually managing the balloons. Here are a few suggestions of ways to have your countdown:

1. Print off two copies of the activity slips. One will be used inside the balloons, but the other will be for your records- number this page with the "days" you are doing each one, and number the balloons to match. NO SURPRISES with this method - well, not for you anyway. :) This one is especially important if you want to use the food slips, for example. You'll want to know when you need the supplies for them, and can ask parents ahead of time to send in goodies, too. (No one wants a note home the afternoon before an ice cream party that they need to send in two quarts of chocolate syrup.)

2. Maybe you DO like surprises! I suggest choosing activity slips that don't require a lot of planning ahead, then stuff those balloons! You could let a student choose which one to pop in this case.

3. Use it as a behavior incentive. At the end of the day, if everyone has had a "good day," pop a balloon to see what special activity will be the next day.

4. Hang the balloons from the board, a piece of string, or even from ribbons attached to the ceiling! Here are some ideas:
http://firstwithfranklin.blogspot.com/2012/05/10-day-countdown-baby.html
http://classroomcompulsion.blogspot.com/2012/05/making-end-of-year-pop.html
http://kinderfriendly.blogspot.com/2013/05/catching-up.html
5. The actual popping can be done with a pin or thumbtack, or by sitting on the balloon, or in the upper grades- (if you're super daring) letting a student throw a dart! This could also be a great behavior incentive- let a student who had an AWESOME behavior day pop the balloon.

This idea is just one of many from the bloggers of The Primary Peach!


The Primary Peach authors are celebrating our one year blogiversary! In true anniversary style, we are gifting paper... and one of the best kinds of paper there is, if you ask me! Make sure to head over to The Primary Peach blog to enter to win an Erin Condren gift card AND get even more great freebies to use to end the year!



Thank you so much to all of you who entered the VOLUME 3, UNIT 1 Giveaway! And thank you for all of the fabulous things you had to say about Mentor Sentences for those that already use them and are excited to get this new volume! With over 3,000 entries, I was surely feeling the love! I cannot describe to you how exciting it is to work on this new volume. These books are AHHH-MAZING!

The winner of the giveaway was Kristine Rose! She will have all ten amazing books used in Unit 1 mailed to her, as well as the digital version of Volume 3, Unit 1! Woot! 

Don't be sad if you didn't win. You're all winners in my book. Since I know so many of you are just as excited about this new volume as I am, I have created GROWING BUNDLES for Volume 3! And for 48 hours (that's only Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13!!) I am offering my bundles at the lowest price they will ever be!


Volume 3 Mentor Sentences and Interactive Activities will be completed May 15! That means you won't have to wait very long to get all of the units!! (Better Than Basal is also coming, but that date is still TBD.)

Need to see all of the books in Volume 3 to make sure you want the bundle? *CLICK HERE* to see an Amazon List of all 40 books! *note: titles are subject to change, but most likely these are locked in! :)




Not ready to jump in on the bundles yet? The individual units are still on sale, too!



Don't miss out on these great deals!! They will turn back into pumpkins April 13 at MIDNIGHT! :)

I'm blogging over at the Primary Peach today! Come join me to see how to help get rid of some of that test anxiety in your classroom!


Win Volume 3 Mentor Sentence Lessons AND the Mentor Texts, too from Ideas By Jivey!
Volume 3 of mentor sentences for grades 3-5 is officially in production! I'm so excited about it, I want to GIVE AWAY the first unit before anyone can even buy it... AND THAT'S NOT ALL! To make sure you are all set to use the first unit in your classroom, I'm also going to ship all ten mentor texts straight to your front door!

Need more information on mentor sentences? Check out this post, with video included!

The new lessons will use the following mentor texts. Click on the images to visit Amazon and see what each book is all about!
        
           
 
    

RULES AND DISCLAIMERS:

This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, living in the United States (sorry to my international friends; for shipping purposes, I had to limit this one). There will be ONE winner chosen on April 12. The winner will be notified by email. The mentor sentence lessons will be emailed to the winner, and the mentor texts will be shipped directly from Amazon using the address you provide in reply to the notification email. 

The lessons are geared towards third, fourth, and fifth graders and are designed to be used at the beginning of the school year, but they can really be used ANY TIME! The skills will include identifying subjects/predicates, compound sentences, figurative language, commas in a series, adjectives, and MORE!

All of the links on the books above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you buy a book using one of the links above, I get a few cents from Amazon. My affiliate links help me afford fun giveaways like this one, so thank you for your support!

So what are you waiting for?? Enter below! :) I will contact the winner Tuesday, April 12 after verifying their entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April is approaching, and teachers know that means one word: POETRY! Except, I always made it have two more words, as well... FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE! Although I always taught figurative language all year long, April was a great time to review it before "THE TEST" and you'll often find figurative language in poetry = win/win!
Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

I'm linking up with some of the authors of The Primary Peach to make your April poetry planning life easier! Click on any of the images below to download the PDF. Once you are on the PDF, click around on all of the images to visit the resources!
Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

Check out this collection of poetry and figurative language resources gathered by Ideas by Jivey - most of them free ideas and activities!

Head over to The Primary Peach for more Sharing Sunday posts!


Back to Top