Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mentor Text for Launching 3 - 5

Launching in these grades looks very different from launching in the primary grades. We actually don't need to even launch in the traditional sense. The children should have a foundation for the workshop when they arrive at our doorsteps in September. So... what do you do to start your year? What text do you use to get the year off on the right foot? Feel free to share your ideas here so we can get a good collection together. I look forward to reading your thoughts.



Barbara said...

Preparing for the the school year is definitely different for upper grades as opposed to the lower grades. The children in these grades are familiar with reading and writing workshop and should be knowledgeable about themselves as a reader. It's more about them becoming familiar with a new teacher, assessing new students and sizing each other up.

Allison's Blog said...

Just so you know, your website is sited on my blog. It's one of my favorites.

Mrs. Rayle's Class Page said...

I just found your site!! I am soooo excited as to the possibility of teacher to teacher mentoring in this area. Where will you start the year? What will your first mini-lesson be about? I have a year under my belt in 3rd grade and I so want to grow and be a better facilitator for the children. I have a tiny classroom with 23 students this year. How important is a reading table? Can I get by with a reading area for groups? For confencing?

debrennersmith said...

Laura, my blog is

It is great to see that you have started a blog. I hope you will link your blog to mine. I will return the favor. deb

debrennersmith said...

Writing Workshop Structure

ReadingLady said...

One of my favorite text for launching is by Lois Lowry. Here is the information on the text -

Looking Back: A Book of Memories
by Lois Lowry

When we do our first unit of study we feel we don't need to do a full launch. The children already have familiarity with the workshop so we go over our personal routines for the workshop and then get started. We begin with the children writing memoirs.

This text is fabulous and provides a springboard to many discussions about memories. Lowry has included snapshots from her childhood and the story behind the photograph. Great for teaching students how to zoom in on a moment in time. I found it very powerful in helping students understand that the photograph is a snapshot of a moment in time. They found it easy to zoom in and write small when they wrote just about that moment. When writing we said to think about the camera snapping just that one moment in time and freezing it.

I highly recommend this book. You can also photocopy a few pages to put in your conference folder that you will walk around with. You will definitely go back to it time and again.

If you use the book this year come back and tell us what you did and how it went.

marypoppins said...

I love to use The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh as a first read aloud. It is a very small quick read of a book about a book! A small group of people are sent to inhabit a new planet since Earth is dying. This book is excellent for stressing the importance of journal writing. You are taken through each character's selection of the one book they will take with them. In the end you find out that Patti's book was really a blank book in which she's been recording the history of their new life! It's a great jump start for journal writing.