Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: A Digital Bin That Will Give You More… #SOL17 #IMWAYR
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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….

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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.

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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. 51MyMf5g9iL._AC_UL160_

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.

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal QR Code

  • Avatar
    Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 10:52h, 27 March Reply

    This post is incredibly valuable, Clare. I am reading Textbook now and almost finished. I love it! I have so many of Amy’s books. I just ordered Encyclopedia the other day because I had missed this, too. She was such a special human being. I used the QR Code to access your list. Now I can have direct access to videos, articles, and book lists. You spent a great deal of time creating this post and text set, and I know everyone will appreciate it so much! I had not thought about creating digital text sets like this, but of course! It makes such good sense! Thank you!

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    Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 11:06h, 27 March Reply

    I was late to discovering Amy’s work. When Lynne and I were writing Grammar Matters, I found Exclamation Point and fell in love with that book which led me to more of her books. OK is probably my favorite, but then I think of I Wish You More, and then I think of… Well, you know. Thank you so much for the QR code and your entire post today. I am so grateful.

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    Katherine Sokolowski
    Posted at 11:51h, 27 March Reply

    Your post gave me goosebumps. I’ve been thinking so much about Amy. Are you part of the Facebook group Kirby started for Amy? If not, message me.

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    Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 12:47h, 27 March Reply

    Thank you so much for these resources, Clare. I am discovering more and more about Amy every day. She had such an impact on so many people. This should continue, and thanks to resources such as yours, it will.

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    Ms. Yingling
    Posted at 13:06h, 27 March Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I do mainly middle grade books, so am not as invested in her work, but I know she touched many lives. There is never a good answer for “why” in cases like these.

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    Alex Baugh
    Posted at 13:09h, 27 March Reply

    What a lovely tribute to a wonderful writer and person. Thanks for the resources for others who may want to explore Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work more.

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    Lisa Keeler
    Posted at 13:37h, 27 March Reply

    This slice is such a gift. Thank you. It seems like lots of us have had AKR on our minds. I am truly looking forward to exploring all of your links. Like you I have pulled out and begun rereading her books…thank you thank you

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    Linda Baie
    Posted at 14:49h, 27 March Reply

    When the letter Amy wrote for the NY Times, I gathered all the books I already owned and re-read them. I haven’t done as much as you, but know the Encyclopedia well because I used so many parts as mentor texts with my students a long time ago. It showed them that their thoughts and who they were had great value, and they should write them. I just ordered Textbook, and have begun to read it. I didn’t know about the audio but have heard Amy’s voice through podcasts and Ted talks. What a special post, something for all of us to value, and something teachers can use as their own idea of a “text set”. Thanks very much! FYI – one favorite of mine you didn’t share is “This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations”.

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    Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    Posted at 17:20h, 27 March Reply

    What an incredible legacy she left us.

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    Katie Logonauts
    Posted at 17:43h, 27 March Reply

    Now you just have to fill the one Amy-sized whole in your life … her collection of diary-style journals. I got these as gifts for my parents and my sister (the grandparents and baby books). I love the idea that she is helping others to write and celebrate their lives too.

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    Posted at 21:30h, 27 March Reply

    I’m reading Textbook now – just wallowing in Amy’s spirit.

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    Fran McVeigh
    Posted at 01:24h, 28 March Reply

    Thanks for collecting this. It hadn’t dawned on me that “Cookies” was Amy! That Amy! Now it makes sense! So much brilliance collected in your QR code! Thanks for this text set – unparalleled brilliance!

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    Nicole Levesque
    Posted at 01:27h, 29 March Reply

    When I started reading this my heart jumped. I don’t have any beautiful and worthy words right now, but I appreciate what you’ve done here.

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    Posted at 09:31h, 29 March Reply

    […]  I am also fascinated by the idea of creating a digital bin as demonstrated by Clare Landrigan here.  We continue to search out, share, and save content reading […]

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    Myra from GatheringBooks
    Posted at 06:06h, 31 March Reply

    So much love for Amy Krouse Rosenthal right here. Thanks for this lovely lovely tribute.

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