27 Mar Slice of Life: A Digital Bin That Will Give You More… #SOL17 #IMWAYR
I have been reading a text set. I didn’t start out intending to read a text set, but as I reflect on my reading journey over the past two weeks I realize I am immersed in a text set.
It began with this article and the realization that this was Amy, Spoon Amy. As I closely read and reread this article I remember that this Amy, Spoon Amy, was also Beckoning the Lovely Amy. I wanted to remember this event, so I closely read the video clip. Amy was on my mind. I read lots of blog posts about her. I went into my bookshelves and gathered all of her books and read….
I then watched Beckoning the Lovely again… it had more meaning this time. I noticed the website for Beckoning the Lovely, I headed over and found a world of Amy. Videos, projects, TedTalks and books I never realized she published – a memoir and a textbook too??!!!
I watched these videos:
I then downloaded the audio version of Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal and listened to it on my commute. Amy reads this book. When I hear her voice I am immediately taken to a place in my memory. I have heard her speak at conferences. I connect to her in a new way. The entire time I am listening I wonder – did she know? Did she know she was dying when she wrote this book? I google and read, but cannot find the answer. I finish the audiobook wanting, needing, more from Amy. I download the kindle version of her memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
Why Amy? Why this person who has done so much good in the world? This person who has literally made lovely. She considers everything and appreciates all life has to give. She offers a refreshing outlook on life and encourages everyone to see the beauty around them. The world needs Amy. Why Amy?
I am in this place where I am reading and rereading all of Amy’s texts and videos. I am making connections that I never made before. Wondering, searching, feeling, growing with each close read. I do not think I have ever experienced reading like this before. I often help teachers and students create text sets. I have even learned to create a digital bin of text sets. I understand how text sets relate to the standard and the importance they serve for the 21st Century reader. I have taught it, but I never lived it. We have always believed that the best text sets are created by students, but now I know it.
Reading and rereading her texts, videos, podcasts and photos have truly taught me the power of engaging through multiple media forms to ask and answer questions, to discover and to grow one’s thinking. It is important that we create, model and use text sets for instructional purposes. It is critical that we also back up and create space for our students to create their own. Students need to experience reading, wondering, searching, connecting, discovering, growing and being with text. This is how we will inspire and develop lifelong readers.
Just when I thought this post was done, Katherine Sokolowski made this comment on my blog post about a podcast with Amy’s daughter:
I immediately went to watch it. As I sat speechless, tears streaming down my face, a package was left on my doorstep. Amazon. I open it. It was backordered. It just arrived. Amy’s latest children’s book.
I leave you with inquiry. If you wonder about Amy after reading this, read some of her articles, watch a few videos, order a few of her books, get to know her work… you will not be sorry you did.
If you are creating text sets with your class include videos, articles, blog posts, podcasts and books. We often create a QR code with the digital material and then add it to the basket of texts. Here is a QR code we created for Amy – she inspired us to make something lovely – a digital bin to further her message and to give all of us a little more.