see student-designed weekly schedule:

GENERAL FOCUS–small group discussions

Also, the list of everyone’s book choices is now complete. I have stored it on the Raw Materials page of this blog.


Today starts the small group work of one kind or another, depending on the consensus reached by particular sections.  I have two recent thoughts.  

First, for those groups who want to structure their discussion, consider K-W-L.  For your book, ask yourself: What do I Know about this person?  What do I Want to know? What have I Learned?  These questions can guide early small-group conversations.  Also, they can help you identify your personal goals in reading this book.  At any point, including after finishing the book, you can ask what you have learned.  Certainly, these books carry many facts, but my individual conferences suggest that most of you want to learn more than specific facts with this reading.  

Second, I have begun to wonder about people who finish their books not long after I complete this sentence.  How do they spend their class, and non-class, time most productively.  Surely, this early finish gives them time to imagine and start their presentation/project/demonstration, but I am wondering about other possibilities.  For example, early finishers can meet with me individually to brainstorm or describe design plans.  I think this conference, like the preliminary one in February, benefits from writing beforehand.  Above all, I want to remember that many of you explained the final presentation as a way to communicate the core of what you have learned from this book.  This second thought about early finishers, therefore, dovetails with the first, insofar as the K-W-L structure helps you identify what you want to learn and have learned from your reading.  I hope that your talking with one another in small groups also helps you identify and remember enduring lessons.