Theresa and I are linking up with Holly today for Tried It Tuesday!
her blog! (After you read her amazing post of course! hee hee!)
While Jivey is away with her toes in the sand, I am sitting in my children's kiddie pool playing tea party with my daughter and having squirt gun fights with my son. Oh well, at least I'm cooling down in the 90* heat!
I am honored to be guest blogging for one of the nicest girls on the web. Jivey is not only one of my BFF bloggers, but she is super creative, and an amazing teacher. Although we live many miles away (I'm over here in Connecticut) I've come to know her through blogging and she has inspired in so many ways.
One creative idea and blog post that caught my attention was the whole Mentor Sentence idea. I originally saw it on my other favorite blog, the amazing Collaboration Cuties, but saw it again on a duel post by Jivey. I was intrigued and knew I needed to try it. Of course Jivey worked her tail off and quickly made mentor sentence units separated by time of year. I realized I NEEDED to try this out for myself and tested out the beginning of the year Mentor Sentence Kit, the first 10 weeks.
At first, I was scared because I don't teach grammar like this, in fact I am completely LACKING in grammar myself. I normally teach a skill in isolation (and basically relearn it myself). Jivey assured me that she did all the thinking for me and explained the process thoroughly while giving answers for the teacher to follow. The kit is great because instead of teaching one skill for grammar for the week, you are focusing and revisiting many different grammar skills for about 10-15 minutes per day. Included are activities for each day: Monday-Invitation to Notice, Tues-Invitation to Notice Parts of Speech, Wed- Invitation to Revise, Thurs-Invitation to Imitate, and Fri-Quiz Day.
Since we were focusing on Bullying for the week, I decided to start with Enemy Pie. (Another great idea about this packet is that the books used are common and I had 8/10 in my classroom library already!)
** Warning: This is where I look like a bad blogger. I took great pictures of this product in use and even cleaned up my classroom for the occasion, BUT last weekend I upgraded to an iPhone 5 and my husband took over my iPhone 4. I lost EVERYTHING except my contacts. The brilliant sales associate deleted my phone information and set my husband's up first before transferring my information. Needless to say, I lost my 600+ pictures. LUCKILY Instagram saved me because I posted a picture at the end of my mentor sentence test week! By the way, if you aren't on Instagram, get on it!! It's SO fun! :) **
I was amazed at how well my students picked up this idea. I also felt great when I realized how much grammar they had learned through the year, and it was really showing through this exercise. Not only did this week of using the mentor sentence help with grammar skills, but also with editing, revising, and writing in general. My other favorite part of this kit is that Jivey has created a quiz for every Friday. The quiz focuses on everything the student learned and reviewed during the week. If the child paid attention, there is no excuse to get a bad grade. I am always looking for ways to get grades in class, and I will definitely be using this next year. Now I just have to go buy the rest of the units! :)
So overall, after looking at every notebook throughout the week, I came to the conclusion that I absolutely LOVE it. I loved it so much I am completely implementing it in my classroom next year! I even planned a section in the notebook for it. While looking through blog posts, I came across some other great ideas to help. I loved how the Collaboration Cuties used rubber bands as dividers in their composition notebooks. Brilliant!! I also love how Sarah sets up her conference schedules. This would give me a great opportunity to check for grammatical understand or fix errors with students 1:1.
I hope you've got to the bottom of this long post. Sorry I wrote so much, but I was passionate about the topic. I love that I am full of ideas about starting the new school year and I am only on week two of vacation!
Have a wonderful summer, teacher friends!
Don't forget about the HUGE Summer Planning Blog Hop that is happening! Have you collected your secret words? Click for more info: