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Reading the work of Katie Wood Ray also fueled my "sentence stalking." She talked about creating names for what we see in mentor texts. As I read The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, I found that Barbara O'Connor used words and phrases in triplicate throughout the book. I named this "writing in three's." I can't wait to share this example with my students.
I also came across Holly Mueller's blog, Reading, Teaching, and Learning where I found a post on collecting sentences. In her post, she talked about using sentences for responding to literature and gives some great examples of student work. After reading this, I began collecting sentences as a reader, looking for sentences that meant something to me or inspired me to write.
As I read the book Jinx by Sage Blackwood. One sentence that stood out for me was:
"Many things in life are difficult, but to those who persevere, all things are possible."
This made me think about my students, as well as my writing journey. There are days when writing is difficult for me, whether it be choosing a topic to write about or simply finding the time to write, especially now that school has started.
I have found that if I keep after it, writing does get easier. I have been trying to keep a notebook with ideas, snippets, entries and now sentences. I have learned to use my notebook to write blog posts and to use as examples for my writing lessons. By actually going through the difficult parts, I know it is going to be easier for me to share the writing process, both the ups and the downs, with my students...a lesson in perseverance.
Becoming a sentence stalker has changed the way I read books, because now I am reading not only as a reader, but also as a writer. I see things differently as I read. Something as simple as a sentence can be packed with potential teaching material - once you have become a sentence stalker.