My Writing Mentors

 I have a few writing mentors that I admire…some for their professional works for teachers…and some are children’s authors.  Here are a few of my favorites:

ü      Katie Wood Ray and Lucy Calkins…they have both inspired me to use units of study.  The work that the kindergarten through second grade friends that I work with has shifted from being the work of K-2 students to being “WOW” work of K-2 students.

ü      Ralph Fletcher…I heard him speak the summer before I looped up to third grade with the second graders that I had just finished teaching…He spoke about his writer’s notebooks and why teachers need to be writers themselves if we were going to teach children how to write.  I took every word he spoke at that session and ran with it…writer’s notebooks…can’t live without them!

ü      Georgia Heard…She spoke at the same conference as Ralph…she talked about her writer’s notebooks too!  She shared her book Awakening the Heart…and I was hooked.  I had already seen myself as a poetry writer/reader…but I always wrote structured poems.  Georgia convinced me that I could…and can write free verse…and it is now my favorite way to write a poem.

ü      Lester Laminack…He came to my school and modeled instruction on reading aloud to children and writing workshop.  I fell in love with him the day I heard him read The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins…He helped me understand the need to use mentor text with our students so that the can envision themselves as writers…just like Lester!  In January he presented at the Reading Recovery conference in Virginia Beach, VA…He shared his book called Saturday’s and Teacakes and his new writing teacher resource called Cracking Open the Author’s Craft.  I had to buy it as soon as I left his session…and I am loving using it.

ü      Cynthia Rylant…I have never met her…but I feel like I know her because I read like a writer and I love her style of writing.  She is one of my favorite authors to study with K-2 children.  They really can envision themselves writing just like her and they can truly connect to her books.  One of my most favorite books by her is Missing May.  It is a chapter book for 4th grade up.  Oh…and I absolutely love the Cobblestone Cousins series!


There are many more…but my brain has stopped thinking for now…I will come back and add to this list…someday!!??