As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Chapter Two- I Need a Mentor!

The framework of the activities in this chapter centers around "mentor texts."  My entry for this chapter will be simple and sweet:  How does one find/use mentor texts?

I know that this is a common practice for my colleagues in this class, but I have had a hard time starting the practice.  I have a few questions:
1. How do you find the time to find mentor texts?  It seems like it would be a very time consuming practice, there are so many options!
2. How do you qualify a mentor text?  What makes a "good" mentor text?
3. How often do you use mentor  texts when teaching writing?

I would love answers to any or all of those questions.  Help a sister out!



  1. This is what I am getting a mentor for, too! I started researching how to teach grammar using mentor texts and how you can have your students actually find the mentor texts. It works SO WELL and then they have examples that they feel good referencing and using for their observations and imitations. Jeff Anderson also has a blog that was started for grammar and a few literary devices: http://greatsentences.blogspot.com/

  2. Hi, all. I'm sorry to be so late in posting to the blog!

    After reading chapter 2, I was really sorry that I did not go with a personal narrative assignment for the ENG 090 class I am currently teaching at WCC. I've taught personal narratives in the past, and both the students and myself have always enjoyed this essay. Instead, we're doing a Cause/Effect assignment, but I've tried to pull in some of what I learned in Chapter 2 for this assignment. The idea that I liked most was spending more time talking about the mentor texts in class. While I am teaching this class in a compressed semester, we did look at an old student paper to see how he put together his assignment. This really seemed to help the students get an idea of what to do for their own papers. I also model prewriting on the board and deciding how to keep or toss ideas that come out of prewriting. I've always found that students get scared about length requirements for papers and tend to just add stuff to make sure it's long enough--even if this stuff doesn't help the paper become stronger. Because they work so hard to get those inches, cutting out material is hard for them. Heck, it's still hard for me when I find myself in situations where what I spent time writing just isn't working for a paper!

    I also really liked the idea of leading a peer editing session as a larger group to model expectations. Peer editing at the writing levels I teach, in my opinion, is less valuable for giving a writer feedback and more valuable for giving students a chance to read other people's papers to think about how others construct their papers. It's always easier to see how something needs to change in someone else's work rather than your own. Another benefit of this exercise is that it helps you create a writing community, which bleeds over into how your class discussions go. In my class, we don't do the paper shuffle (where you just pass papers around and silently read and mark them up), but I don't model the activity completely before they get in groups. This chapter makes me think I should reconsider how I introduce peer editing.

    Finally, I think I'm going to try to put an author's corner into class time. This is a little intimidating because there is such little time in a 10 week semester, but I think it would be very helpful for validating student work and encouraging good feelings about writing.

  3. Hi, all. Unknown, is me, Jenny Tucker. I'm going to try to figure out how to make my name show up, but in until I do, I just thought I'd dissolve the mystery(:

  4. Hi, all. Unknown, is me, Jenny Tucker. I'm going to try to figure out how to make my name show up, but in until I do, I just thought I'd dissolve the mystery(: