[Mentor Text Monday] Guest Blogger–This Plus That

Wear the Cape proudly welcomes our first guest blogger!  Jeni Cass is caped teacher from a charter school in San Diego. Jeni truly does wear her cape each day in her kinder classroom. Enjoy this amazing mentor text form Jeni!

As a kinder teacher the thought of doing a mentor text in
the beginning of the year seems pretty daunting.  I tend to stick more with illustration and
author studies (see Katie Wood Ray’s work for more information onm those).  But I
haven’t given my kids the credit they deserve as learners.This
summer I searched for texts that have concepts and writing that my kids could
do.  I found the perfect one to start
with.  It’s super simple but the students
really got into it.  Here is what I did
to help them be successful:
First we read the book…a couple times.  We talked about the concepts, the
illustrations and just generally enjoyed what it had to show us. 

Next, we discussed what the author was doing, taking two
items and adding them together to make something new.  Then as a class we talked about possible
combinations of things.  Here is where I
really had to help them out.  I gave them
at least 10.  
Then I started with giving
them just one thing and they had to tell their neighbor (knee to knee) what
they would add to it.  Finally it was
their turn to orally tell their neighbor an entire phrase. 

Together as a class we listed them on a chart paper so
everyone had a chance to share out and see the different possibilities.  Students then went back to their tables to
write their sentence.  
By the end of the
year I let them spell it out themselves and leave the chart up for support.  This time I actually cut the chart paper up
and had them take their own phrase back to their seats to copy.  After illustrating them, they were
done!! 

My littles were so excited to see themselves as writers and
make our own This Plus That book.  It is
a favorite in our class library!

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