Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mentor Sentences- Tried It Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday all!  Hope you are all having a great week so far. I'm not looking forward to the colder weather that is headed our way, but other than that I can't complain!  Life is good!  I'm super excited to share some bits and pieces of something that I tried this year, and that I'm loving!  Hope you enjoy!! I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for another Tried It Tuesday!

First of all, after blog stalking this past summer, I cam across the idea of mentor sentences.  After much reading and discussion back and forth (thanks Jessica) I finally bit the bullet and decided to try it.  If you're interested, I got my resources from Ideas by Jivey.  She does a great job putting mentor sentences into action and also shares so much to make it happen in your classroom. You can start small by just getting one or two or getting a whole bundle pack. I started with the first 10 weeks mentor sentences and then bought the rest of her bundle.  I know that you can make them work with any book you're reading, but for me, having it already prepped and done has been a life saver! It's great that you can do what works for you!  

**Also, this blog post is a post on my experience and success with mentor sentences. I have not been asked to write this or to promote this product in anyway.  I'm just really loving this great resource, and appreciate the hard work that went into it! My students are showing great success with it and I am pleased to share what we're doing!

Mentor Sentences:
1- Monday I read aloud a story to the students and then write a mentor sentence from the book on the board.  We do some guessing why I picked it and just read it a few times to get a feel for it.  I am also using the picture books to teach them. So Monday we spend a lot of time picking a theme for the book and adding it to our theme wall!

2- Tuesday: For morning work students put the sentence in their writing notebook, rewrite it on the lines and then start to label things that they notice.  Then at the beginning of our writing block each day we discuss and do things with the sentence.  We will label and notice the sentence and talk about special features (quotations, alliteration, contractions, etc.)

Here is the sentence for one of our books on the board.
I write it out and then we label it with everything that
they can come up with.  This one isn't all of the way done,
but I was impressed that they did a lot on their own!
It took us several tries to get to that point.  When they are
done labeling and noticing, I bring other things to their attention
that maybe they didn't think of.
3- Wednesday is our revision day.  We talk about changing up just a few small things in the sentence to still keep the general message.  We talk about how changing adjectives or verbs can simply add a new dimension to writing.  I also write my own on the board and then they have the chance to write their own revision too.  These are revisions from The Widow's Broom. Their revision is under the sentence that we label.  

4- Thursday: On Thursday we get to be our own sentence authors and imitate the style of our author from the week.  We take the basic structure of the sentence that we've worked with and totally mix it up and make it our own sentence that could be used in our own writing. I always do one first to show the students an example and then they write one last sentence in their notebook to go along with our weekly mentor sentence. We then hang up a few on a bulletin board each week and use them as sentence models.  Here is our display. 

Here are our sentences to go along with Enemy Pie.
This was one of the earlier ones we did. I am super
impressed with how they have grown.  I can't seem to find my
more updated picture tonight of more samples.. :(....
But you get the picture!!!

5. Friday: On Friday I give students the "Invitation to Edit" quiz that Jessica includes with all of her mentor sentence units.  It gives the students time to use all of the skills that were used on the sentence for that week and they also find some mistakes in the sentence that we used and correct them. It's like a mini quiz to end the sentence and to end the week. 

I'm also doing a book study with several colleagues at my school. It's called Everyday Editing. Mentor sentences come from the idea behind this book. I'm very excited to be using this book and Jessica's great resource to help my students with their writing! If you don't know where to start, but you want to learn more, I suggest this book!  I love how it also has a whole section dedicated to in class implementation and practice.  What a great way to actually try something out!! I love books that are designed for that. 

I'm so loving how great my students are doing with using mentor sentences! I also love how they are fitting into my daily teaching so nicely.  Have a wonderful rest of the week!


  1. On one hand, I love what you're doing with mentor sentences and am amazed by what your kids are doing! On the other hand, I'm freaking out because I'm not doing enough of this great stuff with my kids! I'm trying to decide if I should file these ideas away until next year or if I should just go for it. Do you think this point in the year would be a good time to start?

  2. I LOVE you Jessica's Mentor sentences, too!! She is awesome! I bought her big bundle this summer also, and I love implementing it in class. Question for you-are you reading the books in order the way she has them set up? Or are you mixing it up and using what books you want when you want. Because a colleague of mine, who I made buy the bundle so he could do this with me, said we need to go in her order because the grammar skills build on each other. What do you think? (I know I could ask Kessica, but I'm curious what you think)
    Thanks, friend!

  3. I don't know how I missed commenting on this, but I just added it to my main Mentor Sentence tab for people to visit if they want to read more. :) Thanks, friend!!

  4. I don't know how I missed commenting on this, but I just added it to my main Mentor Sentence tab for people to visit if they want to read more. :) Thanks, friend!!


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love to read and respond to comments so I would really appreciate you taking the time to write me a comment about your thoughts on what you have read. Be sure you aren't a no-reply blogger so I can respond to you via email!