Archive for October, 2012

Now Online: Poetry Mentor Texts

Poetry Mentor Texts is the perfect guide to help us on our journey of locating the just-right poem to inspire and guide our students in writing and reading poetry.
—Georgia Heard

Building on the success of their books Mentor Texts and Nonfiction Mentor Texts, Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli use the same practical structure to make it easy for teachers to incorporate model poems into literature circles, small- and whole-group instruction, and mini-lessons.

Each chapter of Poetry Mentor Texts features five mentor poems that focus on one of five student-friendly poetic forms, including the list poem, acrostic poem, and poem for two voices. Lynne and Rose use the mentor poems to highlight essential writing traits such as word choice, point of view, and figurative language. Student samples and “Your Turn” lessons help you transfer the ideas into your classroom.

Poetry Mentor Texts shows you how to leverage students’ natural love of poetry to strengthen reading as well as writing. The print version will be released in mid-November, and you can preview the entire book online now.

Add comment October 23rd, 2012

10 Questions for Jeff Anderson

If you have questions about writing, teaching writing, life as a writer, or life as a teacher, then Jeff Anderson has the answers for you!

We are launching an online event with Jeff called “10 Questions for Jeff” and we invite you to ask Jeff what you always wanted to know about his classroom strategies, his books and videos, and his life as a teacher and author. Do you have a writing or editing dilemma, or do you need new ideas for reaching a struggling writer in your classroom? Jeff can help with that too.

Send your questions to between now and November 11. Jeff will pick 10 questions to respond to and we will post his responses over 10 days in December. Everyone who submits a question will be eligible to win a package of all of Jeff’s book’s and videos: The Craft of Grammar (DVD), Teaching Apostrophes (DVD), Editing Invitations (DVD), Everyday Editing, 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, and Mechanically Inclined.

So ask away! Jeff has the answers!

21 comments October 18th, 2012

Join us for dinner at NCTE

If you are a school- or district-level administrator and you’re going to the NCTE Annual Convention in Las Vegas, we’d love for you to join us for dinner and a roundtable conversation about new directions in professional development on Friday, November 16th.

We’ll select five administrators to invite to the dinner and each will receive a $250 Stenhouse gift certificate. To be eligible, contact Chandra Lowe ( by October 26th with the subject line “NCTE Roundtable” and provide brief answers to the following questions:

  1. Name, job title, phone number, and school/district
  2. What is your role in purchasing decisions for professional development materials or services?
  3. What is your favorite Stenhouse book or video?
  4. What are the three biggest obstacles you face in delivering high-quality professional development to your staff?

If you’re selected for the dinner and roundtable, we’ll confirm your invitation and provide details by Friday, November 2nd.

Add comment October 17th, 2012

Roundup of Stenhouse news from the Web

Here are a few interesting tidbits that we have found around the Internet about some Stenhouse authors and books:

* “It’s really hard to have a clear opinion about a challenging text…it’s a lot easier to say if I can find three things to talk about in three paragraphs then I can get this assignment over with. That’s where the five-paragraph essay discourages kids from deeper thought.”

National Writing Project director Tanya Baker recently interviewed education professor Kimberly Hill Campbell and high school teacher Kristi Latimer, authors of Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay, as part of the NWP Radio series. Listen as Kimberly and Kristi relate many practical suggestions drawn from their classroom experiences fostering thoughtful writing in response to literature.

* Teacher-librarian Mike McQueen who blogs at Reading on the Run, posted a lengthy, five-part audio interview with Steven Layne, author of Igniting a Passion for Reading and several YA books. The interview covers a lot of ground, but they focus mainly on supporting struggling readers. Listen to the full interview here.

* Amanda Villagomez reviewed Math Exchanges by Kassia Omohundro Wedekind recently and she read the book both as a teacher and as a mother trying to support her children’s math learning. “I will definitely be sharing the book with colleagues at my school and she has left me with plenty to think about as a parent. It was just what I needed to be more competent in understanding my daughters’ math development, as well as being more intentional with providing support,” she writes. You can read the full review on her blog, Snapshots of Mrs. V.

*If you remember our Inside Notebooks series recently, you’ll enjoy this post from Sharing Our Notebooks, where author Kate Messner (Real Revision) talks about her notebooks.

Add comment October 15th, 2012

Now Online: Three new titles from Pembroke Publishers

We just posted the full preview for three new books from our Canadian partner, Pembroke Publishers.

Ban the Book Report: Promoting Frequent and Enthusiastic Reading by Graham Foster inspires teachers to go beyond narrow and analytical book reports by exploring the potential of book talks, alternate book covers, identifying features of informational books, newspaper headlines and articles, talk show interviews, diary entries for characters, and letters to authors. The book offers more than twenty specific assignments each with its own rubric written in student-friendly language along with student response exemplars from real classrooms.

Back to Learning: How Research-Based Classroom Instruction Can Make the Impossible Possible by Les Parsons presents straightforward analysis and practical guidance on confronting bullying, taming the digital universe, and changing the troublesome trend in students’ entitled attitudes toward learning and grades. The book is based on the most up-to-date research and gives teachers the background they need to understand how the brain learns, to individualize instruction, to learn how to solve the bullying puzzle, and to appreciate where the digital revolution might lead and the implications for students’ current and future roles.

This Book Is Not About Drama: It’s About New Ways to Inspire Students explores issues around storytelling, silent speech, writing, and imagination and shows teachers how to use role play and discussion to build language experiences that are meaningful for learners. Authors Myra Barrs, Bob Barton, and David Booth filled their book with simple strategies that begin with the simple and evolve into more complex opportunities, including creating rituals, exploring the storyteller’s voice, demonstrating read-aloud, celebrating role-playing, and more.

Add comment October 10th, 2012

Bringing the school community together

We recently visited the Albert S. Hall public school in Waterville, Maine, to see how they used the video School Play at the beginning of the school year to bring together the community for a year of teaching and learning together. We are well into the school year now, but it’s worth remembering how we started out the year.

The school is also the home of Stenhouse author Jennifer Allen (A Sense of Belonging, Becoming a Literacy Leader). She also talked about the impact the video had on teachers.

Add comment October 3rd, 2012

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