There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book.
“This is my corner,” Kim Kabrich, an interventionist, said as she showed me her office. It was literally a corner, constructed with partial walls to create a space for Kim. Once you sit down, you forget that it’s a corner because Kim created a warm place to plan and have conversations with colleagues. It’s easy to get lost in deep conversation, until your train of thought is broken by voices on the other side of the wall.
Because of the partial walls and the fact that Kim’s office is in the heart of the building, just off the media center, it’s easy to catch conversations from others. The voices are close, and the conversation is meant to be private. Kim reaches for some candy out of the dish in the center of her table and announces, “Incoming!” and then tosses the candy over the wall.
There are giggles and Kim adds, “Hope you have a sweet day.”
“Thanks!” comes over the wall and we don’t hear any more of the conversation.
I smile at Kim. “Now there’s a tactic to avoid negativity—bombard people with candy!”
Kim laughed. “After school has ended for the day, you wouldn’t believe the things I hear. Some heartwarming stories of a caring student and some frustrating words from another. So I decided to toss candy, as an easy way to remind people that we need to have fun and keep positive.”
It’s not always easy to take a stand against negativity, but I like Kim’s approach. It makes me wonder how else we can take “sweet” stances against toxic conversations in our corners of the world. Perhaps candy bombs are just the beginning. Maybe they are also a great use of all the leftover sweets from Halloween many of us will face next week.
This week we look at how to organize, select, and use text sets. Plus more as always—enjoy!
Lead Contributor, Choice Literacy
Shark vs. Train! Fork vs. Spoon! Versus stories are incredibly popular in writing workshops with young children. Cathy Mere found herself struggling to teach narrative conventions to students writing versus tales, so she created a text set to help.
Jillian Heise’s middle school students design text sets as their tastes evolve. It’s a great activity (especially later in the year) for discovering how they have grown as readers.
CommonLit is a wonderful resource for free online nonfiction text sets.
New members-only content is added each week to the Choice Literacy website. If you’re not yet a member, click here to explore membership options.
Franki Sibberson explains how carefully curated text sets can help students move beyond a “just the facts” exploration of nonfiction topics.
In this week’s video, Bitsy Parks confers with first grader Ella about the Brown and Pearl book series, and then listens to Ella read. She closes the conference by encouraging Ella to make more personal connections to books.
Melanie Meehan shares some of her favorite resources for developing text sets.
In an encore video, Melanie talks with a third-grade teacher about how she introduces craft elements in nonfiction using a text set she has developed.
Lead Literacy now has a new home as the Leaders Lounge at Choice Literacy. We’ll be posting the new content updates here in the Leaders Lounge section of the Big Fresh newsletter.
Stretch yourself, but not to the point of pain. Matt Renwick has practical tips for how leaders can continue to push themselves to grow and learn new things without succumbing to the hurry-up, stressed culture so prevalent around us.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan support two fourth-grade teachers by suggesting text sets based on assessment data and small-group needs.
Beth Rimer and Angela Faulhaber have created a handy guide with an infographic and links to resources for creating text sets for teens. There are lots of materials here that could be integrated into professional development sessions.
Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it.
That’s all for this week!