Life is great. Cheese makes it better.
On a getaway with my sister in the Berkshires, I walked by a gourmet cheese shop in Great Barrington. It was closed in the middle of the day, with this note on the door:
We will be closed today, Wednesday, as is our off-season wont.
Rubi’s, our cafe down the alley, is open as usual, if a little short-staffed.
If this is a cheese emergency, come find me in the cafe.
I love good writing most when it is unexpected. What I was anticipating was a quick note about the shop being closed, and maybe why it was closed (I’m nosy like that). Was it a private party for some muckety-mucks? As is our off-season wont says it’s none of my business and makes me chuckle at the wry formality. It also keeps me reading. The next sentence is a promise of food if you’re hungry, but if you don’t have a sense of humor and patience, you should probably look elsewhere for your fill.
And finally, I don’t think I’ve ever had a cheese emergency, but if I do, I want the person who wrote this to man the cheese ambulance and take care of me. Only 36 words, yet they had me pulling out my cell phone to snap a picture as I mentally bowed down to the writer’s flair.
This week I saw this picture posted online, of a stop sign on the way out of a school parking lot:
Don’t you love the quick visual flash of “STOP! and read” as families transition from school to home?
Barry Lane may have said it best when he posted this photo with the words “People follow stories better than they follow rules”:
We walk through the world craving stories without even realizing it — of a mom or dad tenderly reading a book to a sleepy child, of a spouse taking a moment to click their seat belt on, or even of a quirky stranger waiting to help us through our next cheese emergency. That’s why signs that hint at stories instead of rules are so charming.
This week we look at ways to help struggling readers and writers. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
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Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan offer lesson suggestions for helping students self-monitor and deal with distractions during literacy workshops:
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris share three questions teachers should ask themselves when guided reading groups aren’t going well:
Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers explain how teachers can help struggling students build a growth mindset:
Claire Wineland is an inspiring 15-year-old with cystic fibrosis. Her amazing 12-minute TED Talk would be a great video for a staff meeting discussion:
Jen Schwanke writes about why we should never punish all students because of the actions of a few (or even one):
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Cathy Mere suggests strategies for working with struggling students who read very little at home:
Here are Matt Renwick’s three favorite moves for helping struggling writers:
Successfully tackling struggles may begin with understanding strengths. In this week’s video, Katrina Edwards confers with first grader Kellan about her love of the Danny book series, moving from a “big picture” discussion of patterns in the book and Kellan’s reading strategies, to close-up decoding of individual words:
Sometimes a student just. won’t. write. Melanie Meehan shares her favorite tools in her bag of tricks to get the pencil or pen moving across the page:
What do you do about those book clubs that just don’t gel in your middle school classroom? In an encore video, Katie Doherty demonstrates how she guides a struggling group of sixth graders, helping them reflect and converse together:
That’s all for this week!