One of the battles I have been fighting throughout my teaching career is how not to lose mentor texts. I know right! I want to use high quality texts, and I love it when my students want to read and learn from them. However … the books would always go walkabout and every time I wanted to use a mentor text during a conference or a later mini-lesson I had to interrupt the whole class and announce “has anyone see insert title of book here” and then the replies came fast and furious … “I had it two weeks ago,” “So and so was reading it yesterday,” and so on and so worth. Eventually the book would always turn up but the system left a lot to be desired. The alternative was to keep the books in a “safe place” away from students so they couldn’t access them. That was less than ideal too.

Then last week I stumbled up a simple but highly effective solution.

Step 1: photocopy/scan/download & print the cover of your mentor texts.

Step 2: tape said paper image to your library.

Step 3: place “real” book over the front of it.

That’s it. Only took me the better part of ten years teaching to figure it out! Check out the nifty slider picture below to see what I mean. Now the students know when a book is missing because they are reminded by the picture and I have the best of both worlds: students choosing to read mentor texts and I’m still able to keep track of them all easily. You’re welcome. 😉