Good writing follows good reading? | Mentoring in the Middle

Good writing follows good reading?

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Are you still enjoying the bliss of a much-needed longer break this Fall?  I know I am!  

I've been using the CAFE model in my classroom for almost a year now, and while I really like it in theory, it's proven harder this school year, since we're using a new Reading anthology.  Which one?  Are any of you using Wonders, by McGraw-Hill?  Wow, oh wow!

I really believe that if my students can master this, any Common Core testing will seem like a piece of cake.  But there is a learning curve to this.  By the end of the year, they should be pretty good.  Right now?  Well, they're getting better.

We've had quite a few conversations about stretching our brains and making them work harder, just like exercising any other muscle.  Bless their hearts, they are hanging in there with this.  But let me say, it is NOT easy.

Is anyone else out their using this series?  How do you teach your students to analyze the way they're expected to?

Because this series is so intense, I allow students more time for creative writing during CAFE's Write To Self, something they seem to really appreciate.  I just had a half-dozen students enter the 'Wild Jungle Writing contest" through Amazing Kids magazine.  Sorry, the deadline for that one is right now :( .  I wasn't so quick about getting that information out.

But there's a pretty cool one being sponsored through Scholastic that's worth taking a look at!  I have quite a few students girls working on poetry and essays for this one.
 And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the TpT sale that starts in two days.  Here's the link to my store if you want to take a look.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving break!


  1. Marion....the fifth grade teachers in my school are piloting the Wonders curriculum. I don't know many details about the pilot---other than they are **swimming** trying to get in all of the components. They said it is very stressful to teach.....that's all I really know! I wish I could tel you more about the writing....

    Mind Sparks

    1. Thanks, Katie! The writing piece is actually something I'm doing on my own. I'm not required to teach the Wonders writing piece this year. That may come later....

      I really like Wonders. I just wish there was a way to make it less intense!