100% chose a YA novel to read. My graduate students never do that; they always choose the teacherly and pedantic. I'm sort of impressed that they went with fiction.
As a means to show the containments and constrainments of genre, I had the students take all their thinking about the book and 'shrink' it into an informative brochure to sell it to other readers and potential teachers. We discussed the genre - hell for some, but cleverly challenging for others - and the application for classroom practice.
Different this year, however, was the fact that I wanted to save time and new I couldn't have 20 presentations because we would be there forever, so I split the groups into pods and let them present their work to each other. I simply sat in the middle and took notes from what I was hearing in stereo (I admit, my brain was a bit frazzled trying to hear three ways). They did present quickly, enjoyed the time, took notes on each other's work, and allowed me 45 minutes at the end to make a case for why I do midterms this way.
Phew. Glad I slid into this success. I didn't know if it was going to work because I'm not used to undergraduates, their pace, or where they are developmentally. Still, I think it was a success. I honestly could have left the room and they would have continued the maturity - they were that engaged and I didn't even need to lead the way. Kudos to them.
Okay, Thursday, I see you. I know what you have in store for me and I will do what I can. Promise. But I can't guarantee anything.
It's March already? Ugh.