Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: A CVS Text Set…
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Slice of Life: A CVS Text Set…


“That book is just like a CVS book.”

I have absolutely no idea what this student is referring to, but I decide to trust the process and ask, “Tell me why you think that.”

“You know a book that is perfect for the time. It is about the time it is now, just like when you walk into CVS you know what time of year it is. If you see Halloween stuff, it is Halloween time. If you see Valentine stuff, it is Valentine time. There are books that are perfect for the time – CVS books!”

I would have never thought about a CVS text set, but this student was thinking about ways to connect text and topics that represent the time of year. This is certainly one way to compare and contrast texts.

I had just read Picture Day Perfection to this group of young readers. This was the title deemed a “CVS book.” I did not want to just leave this conversation with a tangential connection to the time of year. So I decided to probe this student.


“How would reading many books about a time of year help us as readers? What would reading these books make us notice and wonder?”

“Well the other CVS books we have read this month are mostly about the beginning of school. A lot of these books have the same big ideas. Maybe when books are written about the same time of year they have similar big ideas. The time of year might matter to the big idea.”

“That is interesting. I wonder if we would notice a pattern in the big ideas in these books if we charted them. Do you think there would be a pattern?”

I barely finish my sentence when these young friends jump up to grab a bucket of books labeled: Starting Our Year Together

Here are some of the books in the bucket:

The Dot








First Day Jitters



Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon


Tacky the Penguin



Amazing Grace


The Name Jar



stellaluna hardcover



The students started unloading the books and began talking about what they noticed and wondered. They naturally began to grow their thinking about how the big ideas in these were connected. There was no teacher input needed –they were off and running in great conversations. We could have planned book clubs for weeks and I do not think they could have been more powerful or meaningful then what happened.

I wished I could have stayed and listened to them all day, but my time in the classroom was over. I had to move on to the next demonstration lesson. I was humbled as I began this next lesson… knowing as I always do that the greatest power in any lesson always comes from our students. They give us the teachable moments that make our lessons magical. We just need to listen to them and create space for them to question, connect and construct their own understanding.

CVS –who would have ever guessed that connection?!


  • Avatar
    Posted at 10:04h, 14 October Reply

    I love this! A CVS set! This kid gets it! 🙂

    • Clare and Tammy
      Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 17:52h, 14 October Reply

      We love it too! Shows us he is thinking, connecting and engaging. Thank you for sharing this slice with us.
      Clare and Tammy

  • Avatar
    Mandy Robek
    Posted at 11:27h, 14 October Reply

    What a great collection of books and love the idea of a book tub titled, Starting our Year Together. I had to reread this post to understand the CVS connection. Interesting thought.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 17:51h, 14 October Reply

      I had to “reread” the student to understand! Asking “why do you think that” saves me every time!! Hope you are well. Thanks for joining us today.

  • Avatar
    Linda Baie
    Posted at 13:44h, 14 October Reply

    Oh my, what a wonderful story, & you listened and went with it. We do need to listen well, & the students will lead us. Thanks for sharing how it went. I imagine that particular student will remember the lesson well, a very personal connection.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 17:50h, 14 October Reply

      I know I will remember it! Thank you for sharing our story with us today.

  • Avatar
    Posted at 14:53h, 14 October Reply

    You never know what a student is thinking. I love the CVS set. How true that statement is!

    • Clare and Tammy
      Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 17:50h, 14 October Reply

      It was too funny! They keep us thinking and laughing! Thanks for joining us today!

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Sniadecki
    Posted at 18:09h, 14 October Reply

    CVS! It works, doesn’t it? My shopping always leads me to Target. Maybe I’ll create a “Target” text set! LOL
    Great thinking, young student!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 22:14h, 14 October Reply

    What a great story! It’s an important reminder to be flexible and give kids the “space for them to question, connect and construct their own understanding.” Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar
    Melanie Meehan (@MelanieMeehan1)
    Posted at 01:08h, 15 October Reply

    Nothing inspires students like other students. I love the idea of a CVS text set, I have to say. Great list of books for the beginning of the school year, Clare!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 05:24h, 15 October Reply

    What a powerful moment fro students! The greatest ideas come when we least expect it. Here’s to trusting the process.

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