Jenn kicked off the UIWP Demonstrations with a motivating presentation on Teaching With Mentor Texts. One activity involved getting us to think about the literary authors we would invite into our classrooms and why. Though she asked us to limit the quick write to a few, but I just couldn’t. My list of three quickly grew to over ten, and all for different reasons. The one element that was common was that my kids love their work. I love their work. A few made the list because I know of their work with teaching teachers. Call me self-indulgent, but I’d love to learn something new, too.
I think I’ve become comfortable with the mentor texts that I use in writing workshop. I tried to list some authors that are not necessarily new, but fairly new me. The presentation prompted me to go beyond was is comfortable and think of new possibilities. Though I am not willing to give up all that has worled in the past, Jenn offered a structure of how to look at and use other texts. Her presentation has pushed me to rely less on what I know, or what others have shared in regards to mentor texts; and think for myself. (Though sone systems may have enabled teachers NOT to think, I believe it can still happen!) For the times when thinking about mentor texts isn’t working, you might look up Jenn’s list or check out a few great blogs like The Classroom Bookshelf or Teach Mentor Texts.