For Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I had the pleasure of being paired up with Jen from Teach Mentor Texts, a blog dedicated to expanding children's literacy skills naturalistically with great books rather than worksheets and reading logs. As someone who loathed those old colour-coded workbooks in elementary school and completed each one as quickly as possible just to get it over with, all I can say is Woo Hoo!
You can find Jen's interview of me here. And here are the questions she was kind enough to answer for me:
I must admit I've never heard the term "mentor text" before. What makes a great mentor text different from the average book?
Now that I think about it, those "average" not so great books could even be mentor texts if you use them as a comparison. You could talk to kids about the difference between an amazing, unforgettable story to a so-so book.
This family member didn't at all model for Peanut what a good reader does when he or she is reading. A good reader doesn't simply read the words and get through the book, a good reader thinks about the book and interacts with the book. It is so hard for kids to realize what a good reader does when he or she reads a book. A good reader applies - mostly seamlessly - reading strategies. You can read more about what each reading strategy is if you look at My Labels (http://www.teachmentortexts.com/p/my-labels.html) I try to explain all the terms you'll see pop up in my reviews. The most common reading strategies are: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Making Predictions, Visualizing, and Making Inferences. If you stop and look at the pictures and ask questions or even just make statements about the text or pictures yourself you are helping your child develop those strategies and modeling them for him or her.
What are your kids' favourite books right now?
What are you currently reading for yourself? What's on your nightstand? Are you enjoying it?
Have you found any mentor book blogs you think should be more widely read? Ones that display the qualities you spoke about in the first question? Besides your own, of course. ;)
I actually just found Playing By the Book through Book Blogger Appreciation week and I love her! I'm sure people know about this blog, but it's new to me and I think it's great! http://www.playingbythebook.net/