Day by Day: Conferring Cycle 3: Day 1

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Lifting the Level of Our Conferences

Day 1: Enjoy conferring

Challenge: Choose one of the aforementioned attitudes to adopt over the next several day. Your choice may be an element that you have believed in for a number of years; however, over the next few days be purposeful in accepting it.

Which of the attitudes are easiest for you to accept?

Why are some of the attitudes difficult for you to accept?

What have you found enjoyable about conferring?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 10

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 10: Celebrate mentorship

Challenge: Plan an opportunity for students to share the way they have modeled their writing after a mentor. This may be in the form of share or another alternative.

How does having a writing mentor lift the quality of your students’ writing?

How will you help students who do not have a writer mentor find one?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 9

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 9: Teaching conventions through a mentor text

Challenge: Make plans to use a mentor text in a mini-lesson as a springboard into a conversation about conventions. Anchor your teaching in one of the four areas defined earlier.

What were your students’ insights about conventions based on the mentor text?

How did your students respond to using a mentor text to discuss conventions?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 8

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 8: Make personal connections to published authors

Challenge: Spend time researching one of the authors of a mentor text you use in writing workshop. Learn some facts about the author that you can envision sharing with students.

How did students respond when you shared information about an author’s life?

How will you remember what you learned about an author and use it in future writing workshops?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 7

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 7: Author studies

Challenge: Decide on an author whose writing you will study with your students. Be sure this author’s writing will appeal to and will be accessible for all of your students. Be sure the author you choose has enough books that will allow you to teach all of the qualities of good writing (i.e. conventions, elaboration, focus, meaning, structure, voice, and word choice) throughout the duration of the author’s study.

What are your three greatest goals for the author study you will embark on?

How do you hope this author’s writing will make your students better writers?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 6

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 6: Using one book for multiple purposes

Challenge: Find a book you and your students love. Read it intently. Emulate Lucy Calkins and Katie Wood Ray as you identify all of the things you could teach your students about writing from the this text.

What was different about reading with the intent to learn more about writing?

What do you see as the advantages of using extra words to explain craft moves to your students?

What do you like about the craft table, similar to the one shown in Appendix C, that you may use to create one of your own?

What changes would you make?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 5

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 5: More than picture books

Challenge: Explore some new places for finding mentor texts. Spend time online or at the local library looking for mentor texts. When you find one, make a copy and file it to use in your writing workshop.

What teaching points emerge from mentor texts that are not picture books?

How will you be more intentional about finding mentor texts that are not picture books?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 4

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 4: Picture books aren’t just for kindergarteners

Challenge: Gather a bunch of picture books you are enthusiastic about. Hold a focus group with a few of your students at lunchtime or after school. Ask them what they like and dislike about each of the books so you can get a better feel for the types of books students in your class favor. You might choose to have them fill out a questionnaire about each book they view or you might go high-tech and record their reactions on video. As with any good focus group, make sure you have plenty of snacks for the group members.

What are some of the qualities of picture books that appealed to your students?

How will the information you gleaned in the focus group help you pick quality mentor texts for the future?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 3

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 3: Creating theories about why authors write like they do

Challenge: Study a portion of a favorite text. Use one of the prompts from each section to develop a theory about why an author wrote in a particular way.

How did the prompts take you on a journey of thought about the author’s intentions?

What’s your plan for teaching students how to use these prompts to develop hunches about an author’s writing?

Day by Day: Mentors Cycle 3, Day 2

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Mentors Cycle 3: Published Authors as Mentors

Day 2: Shopping for ideas

Challenge: Using a mentor text, make a list of all the possible ways it could act as a mentor. Consider all parts of the writing process when making your list. Keep this list handy when conferring or planning lessons so you are able to model for students the power of using a mentor text throughout the writing process.

What are your students’ attitudes about using a mentor text?

What makes them willing to turn to the mentor text for help?

Do your students view the mentor text as a support throughout the writing process?

Why or why not?