Connie Dierking

Connie Dierking is coauthor of the Heinemann title Oral Mentor Texts. After graduating from Kansas State University with a M.S. in Special Education, Connie Dierking began collecting stories. Over the years her experience teaching grades kindergarten through third and special education ensured that her story satchel is overflowing. While her teaching experience has included teaching, coaching, professional development, and writing professional books for teachers, it is the stories that sustain her and helped lead to the idea of oral mentor texts! Connie provides workshops across Florida and the Midwest assisting teachers in integrating literacy in the primary grades. You will find her on any given day reading, writing, or conferring with students in Clearwater, Florida.

Sherra Jones

Sherra Jones is coauthor of the Heinemann title Oral Mentor Texts. Her professional passion most revolves around oral-language development. The idea for oral mentor texts arose from this passion. As a primary teacher for more than twenty years, she understands the importance of speaking and listening skills. Children that demonstrate age-appropriate receptive and expressive language are primed to be successful with literacy tasks. In an effort to scaffold emergent readers and writers, she became interested in explicitly teaching students how to tell a story. This involved turning shared experiences into oral stories that students could practice and ultimately perform. Through an inquiry process, she soon became aware of the possibilities of teaching into these oral mentor texts. Now, she dips back into these oral stories to teach both comprehension and writing.