Thursday, July 17, 2014

OLW: Choice and a Little Reflection

It's been a great summer as I continue to implement my One Little Word: choice. A friend posted on my face book page that she was sure there would be a “reflection” post coming soon from a similar photo. I took this picture last night while reading on our dock.  I never saw the clouds in the pond until I took this photo. It is a perfect visual for my last three weeks.  I never knew how I would feel if I chose to slow down and shift my time. I feel more balanced with altering my choices including not focusing primarily on all education. I learned that you never know what you might find if you choose to take the time to take the photo. My reflection involves a happier more relaxed feeling with one of the best parts more time to read.

Here’s the summary of Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graf.

Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.

Albie is an enduring character that you will to succeed, and he has several obstacles to overcome. Life never gets easy for Albie, and Calista gives him the best advice, “Find something you like…keep doing it forever…even if you stink. And then if you’re lucky with lots of practice one day you won’t stink so much.” This quote hooked me and will encourage strong conversations in our classroom.

My other favorite is by Holly Schindler, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky. Here is a summary

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.”

Auggie's perseverance is her strongest character trait. She is amazingly strong with not only loving where she lives, but she also shifts the surrounding community viewpoint. Auggie learns about friendship issues and best of all she fights through them with total class. The secrets she finds in the closet, literally, will steal your heart.

Albie and Auggie have traits that I want to discuss with my new class too as well as use the text for amazing mentors in writing workshop. The choice of words and beautiful description drew me into each book. Reflections and choices are a perfect combo as July turns the corner toward August. 


  1. I liked everything about this post except the last seven words. **fingers plugging ears as she sings LALALALALALA and ignores reality**

  2. You're the special friend with your encouragement. I didn't say I was happy about the last 7 words. I just needed a strong closing. I am singing with you.

  3. What a beautiful picture! They say that reading is the most quiet place in our current world...I definitely could escape on your dock! Thanks for the book titles...just put them on hold at the library!

  4. I'm so excited to read your comment Tracy! I am positive you will enjoy these toe books. Thanks for stopping by.