09 10 11 12
Blogging tips

April 2, 2013

Tried It Tuesday - Mentor Sentences

It's Tuesday! I tried it! Now it is time to link up with Holly!

This week, I decided to post about my journey with mentor sentences in honor of the STAAR Writing test today. The test has two parts; a written composition (either personal narrative or expository) and a revising and editing part. In the past I have used Evan-Moor's Daily Paragraph Editing. I liked the program, and I felt like my students were successful. Most importantly, I thought they were prepared for the test.

Last year, the district switched to using Jeff Anderson's mentor sentences. I tried it. I wasn't that impressed and was lost. I went back to using my tried and true, paragraph editing.

This year, the district chose mentor sentences that correlated with the Comprehension Tool Kit mentor texts.
Score! Now all I needed was how to fit it into a daily format that worked for me.

Monday - Introduce the mentor sentence. Invite students to notice the part of speech focus.

Tuesday - Study a second sentence with the same part of speech focus.
Wednesday - Study a third sentence with the same part of speech focus.
(Tuesday & Wednesday's sentences are pulled from the current read aloud or other mentor text.)

Thursday - Write your own sentence using the same part of speech focus.

Once I had my schedule, then I had to find a format that worked for me. Students folded a piece of copy into fourths. They copied the mentor sentence. We worked together to fill in the sentence about the part of speech focus. Repeated the process on Tuesday & Wednesday. Thursday, students wrote their sentence in the final empty box. Monday - Wednesday, I graded them on following directions. Thursday, I graded their sentences. My grading criteria included was it a complete sentence, have a capital at the beginning of the sentence and punctuation at the end, and did they include the part of speech focus.

Next year, I plan to tweak this again. I realized they need even more grammar practice.



  1. I just learned about mentor sentences from Jivey-I love this approach! I look forward to hearing more about it and hearing how you tweak it!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. We use mentor sentences as well, but a little differently! I love mentor sentences! They really helped my students start doing better on the state test! :O)

    I love that you made it work for you!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. This looks like another books I MUST have!! It is so true that fourth graders need a ton of practice in grammar! Thank you so much for linking up and the inspiration:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. That's awesome that you tried mentor sentences! Amanda, Stacia, and I will be posting even more about it over the next weeks! :)

  5. The bloggy world just introduced me to mentor sentences and I'm glad to hear how you use them in your classroom. I'm going to look into these this summer because my grammar teaching could use a boost!

    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  6. Just saw your post and I'm so excited! I've been thinking about lifting sentences from the Comprehension Toolkit mentor texts myself!!! Is there any way you could email me the list of sentences that you are currently using? That would save me a bunch of time (of which I have none since I am finishing up a TON grad work this summer - insert big sigh...). Either way I appreciate your post and the work you're doing with mentor sentences!