We already have a writing curriculum. Can the Active Authors™ books and resources fit in with the materials that we already use in our school?

Teachers are going to be drawn to the Active Authors™ books. They are great for one-on-one conferencing sessions, and embed easily with current writing programs. With these books:

  • Preparation time is reduced
  • Communication is more positive
  • Teaching practices are more information-based
  • Outcomes are more effective
The Active Authors™ Teaching Guides can also align and root themselves into the writing curriculums schools already use. The resources included in each guide are desined to enhance teaching. Some of the resources included in a guide:
  • How to embed vocabulary into a writing lesson
  • Ways to improve your word wall
  • Anchor chart ideas
  • Differentiation suggestions
  • And more!

How do the Active Authors™ materials improve active participation for writing students?

Children often find it challenging to talk about themselves, especially if the conversation is going to be difficult. Police and social workers figured this out years ago, which is why they ask children, “Can you show me what happened using this doll?” instead of, “What happened to you?” Katebini Creative® Active Authors™ allows teachers to employ this same technique when offering constructive criticism for writing. Educators can use these 13 mentor texts to hold a conversation, making it easier for the student to point out the mistakes in someone else’s writing instead of their own. This allows students to be active and eager participants in their one-on-one conferences. Also, they are able to clearly bridge the steps between the error, and what needs to be done to fix it. This is especially true with the Active Author™ book series, because there are 2 different versions of the same story, making the stories directly comparable. For more information on how to use these books in your classroom, purchase the teacher guides available

How is instruction improved during one-on-one conferences, when teachers use Katebini Creative® Active Authors™ materials?

The Active Authors™ books and guides improve a teacher’s ability to analyze errors and increases a teacher’s use of mentor texts during one-on-one conferences. Error Analysis Elementary writing often has more than one error that needs addressing. It can be difficult to decide what is the greatest area of need in a single writing piece. Teachers often address what they notice first. However, what is noticed first may not be the greatest area of need. The teaching guides in this program have a nifty one-on-one conferencing section that will guide teachers in how to quickly and easily analyze, record, and prioritize errors. Furthermore, teachers benefit from seeing the targeted skills in the 13 mentor texts. These books improve a teacher’s ability to notice similar areas of need in student work. Mentor Texts Although teachers often use mentor texts for whole group lessons, they frequently choose not to include them in their practice for small group, and one-on-one lessons. Part of this decision is due to time restraints; teachers are strapped for time! Anticipating the needs of individual students, and gathering mentor texts that address these needs is time consuming, complicated, and not a perfect science. The 13 books in this program are designed for teachers to keep by their side during one-on-one conferences. The information in these books directly addresses the 13 errors young writers typically make. Thus, the need to anticipate and prepare mentor materials is eliminated. Furthermore, the use of mentor texts during one-on-one conferences will increase, which aligns with best practices.

These books are fantastic! Should I let my students take them home?

Yes and no. You need to keep your conferencing set at school, ready to go. Lending these books to students is a fast and sure way to lose them. However, students benefit from repeated exposure to the same information. They often learn things on their own when given time with rich material. Also, parents love materials that clue them in to how things are taught in the classroom. This is specifically true for math homework, where parents feel emboldened to help their children when the teacher includes some examples of how to solve the problems. Parents would love to get their hands on a copy of these texts. These books are great fodder for discussion and learning in both the home and school setting. Furthermore, the more exposure students have to the books, the faster they are able to discuss them during their one-on-one conferencing times (and with ease!). The solution is to have two sets of books for your classroom. One in your book-shopping library, which will allow students and parents access, and one for your conferencing sessions.

Do these books make comparing stories easier?

Yes! During whole group lessons teachers often use wonderful and rich mentor texts. While these texts may be beautiful it is sometimes difficult for students to build a bridge between the errors in their own work, and the work being presented to them. Occasionally teachers take 2 similar texts (for example, 2 different versions of Pinocchio, or 2 books by Ezra Jack Keats) to point out similarities and differences in writing styles. Although comparing two or more texts is an important literacy skill, it is generally not the objective of a writing workshop conference. These 13 books are specifically designed to address the 13 errors young people commonly make. In each book, there is a version of the story with a common writing error, and a version of the story without the error. Young learners find it very easy to compare the two versions of the story, making it easier to express the actions the author took to improve her work. This resource is a gem for writing teachers.

What ages/grades/levels are the Active Authors™ materials designed for?

The Katebini Creative® Active Authors™ materials are designed for elementary- and middle school-aged writers. They specifically address the errors young writers typically make. That being said, these books and guides would probably benefit any writer wanting to improve his or her skills!

Is promotional or bulk pricing available for the Active Authors Series?

Please contact us to receive information on promotional and bulk pricing availabilities.

What is a narrative text? What is an informational text?

Narrative Text

A Narrative text is a piece of writing that follows a story structure. There is usually a beginning, middle, and an end.

At the beginning of each school year, elementary students are often asked to write a personal narrative. Perhaps they visited a beach over the summer, or perhaps they traveled to spend time with family. Students are required to look back on their personal experiences and create a narrative story out of them.

Narratives can be fiction (made up from imagination) or non-fiction (something that really happened).

Informational Text

An informational text is a piece of writing that gives the reader facts. It rarely follows a story structure.

Elementary students are often required to write an informational text within the school year. Popular assignments include: biographies, how to books, an event that took place in history, cultural holidays, ancient cultures, and science writing.

Informational texts are usually non-fiction (something that really happened), they are very rarely fiction (made up from imagination).

Active Authors™ Frequently Asked Questions