Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tried It Tuesday-Mentor Sentence

I'm excited to be linking up again with my buddy Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday! Today I'm featuring/bragging about two ideas I've tried from my sweet friends Jivey and Amanda/Stacia. Last week I used her measurement word sort (freebie!!!) and my kids loved it!
My students worked collaboratively to order the units from least to greatest. It was a fun review and it gave me the opportunity to show them the "Gallon" Trick with the letters inside each other to remember units of capacity.
(you can see it at the bottom of this student's paper).

Download a copy here if you'd like a copy! Great to use as a math resource or interactive notebooks.
I also tried my first mentor sentence (introduced to me by Jivey, Amanda, & Stacia). I've never heard of Mentor Sentences, but these lovely ladies were fortunate to attend a training, and now we're fortunate to have them train us! :O) I have never really taught grammar in isolation because our 4th graders have to be prepared for our big writing test, and from my experience I've never seen it transfer to their everyday writing. I incorporate all my grammar skills in my writing lessons. We keep track of "super sentences" on anchor charts and in their notebooks, but this concept is so wonderful to me. I love the idea of spending a week on one sentence and really dissecting it and "noticing" why it's a "super sentence". I'm excited to start this new idea with my class and learning more from these amazing ladies!
Here is my first mentor sentence lesson (I hope I did it correctly! Jivey? Amanda?)
I gave each student a sentence from an amazing new picture book (not revealing the book-saving it for the mentor text linky!) and they glued this along with their weekly mentor sentence routine into their notebooks. After reading it several times, I asked my students what they "noticed" about the sentence. I think once one person gave a good example and I made a big deal out of it, the lights went on with the other students. They definitely needed a lot of probing in the beginning, but I know with a few exposures they will become experts! I'm a fan already! Check it out! Thanks Holly for hosting this linky, I love trying new ideas!


  1. Glad you've tried them... I'm storing away all of the mentor sentence posts for next fall...who knows with posts such as yours I may see if my teaching partner would want to try them sooner before school is out!

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  2. I love this linky party idea. I think it is so awesome to support awesome bloggers and share the ideas we've found. I think that some of my best teaching ideas have been from fellow bloggers. I really like the mentor sentence idea. I have never heard of that before, but it looks like a fantastic strategy.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  3. This is a great idea. What will you do with the sentence on the other days of the week?
    Third Grade Galore

  4. Yahoo!! I'm glad you enjoyed the measurement sort! And mentor sentence looks great!! I am so excited you are trying it! You are right, the kiddos will definitely get better at it the more you do it. It's all about getting them to see it, and they just won't right away without some probing. I still get "it has a period at the end" sometimes and I'm like really?!?!? LOL And I can't WAIT to find out the book! :) Yippee!
    ideas by jivey

    1. PS do I recognize a font in that mentor sentence? :-P

  5. Yay! I'm so glad you tried it!!!! Whoop whoop!! There's nothing like just diving in and doing it!!!! I think it's great that you are starting with your class now, to get the hang of it, and then next year you will know just what works for you and what doesn't. It takes about 2-3 weeks of probing before they start pulling stuff out on their own. Praise even the smallest things and then they'll really start looking for the "big" stuff!

    FANTASTIC! Yay for trying something new!! Go girl!
    Collaboration Cuties

  6. Thank you for the measurement sort freebie idea! It is fantastic!! I like how it incorporates the two skills: sorting the units with the appropriate measurement, and how you has them organize the units from smallest to largest. :)

    I'm very interested in learning more about the Mentor Sentences!!! I use the daily language activities every morning with my students (Evan Moor), and then assess them on the variety of skills they have worked on during the week. The benefit I see form the daily language is the the two sentences they are asked to correct each day. Many of the other skills would be better taught through various other meaningful activities. I hope you will share more info with us! :0)

  7. LOVE it! I've just heard of the mentor sentence in the last couple of sentences and definitely want to use them next year, but like one poster said- I might just try them out before the end of this year! :)


  8. I have been reading Jivey and Amanda/Stacia's posts on mentor sentences too. You have inspired me to give it a try in a couple weeks after the test craziness dies down. I am in FULL panic mode right now. Point of view? Voice? Personification? Simile? Theme? Main Idea? Metaphor? Alliteration? Cause & Effect?...will they remember? Ahhhhh!! That is only ELA. Don't get me started on math:)

    Thank you also for the math link freebie. I missed that one somehow and it will be great review! Thanks so much for linking up, Joanne:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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