One thing that I love about the English curriculum here is independent reading.
Each student picks a book that interests him, has me approve it, then reads it on his own time. After completing the reading, he then has a book conference with me. We’ll talk about the characters, setting, theme, lessons, etc. I particularly enjoy these meetings because:
1) It’s great to watch/help the student process what they read on a deeper level
2) I love having one-on-one time with each student and being able to see their unique personality
3) Some of the things they say are absolutely hilarious.
(that’s the not mushy, teacher-y reason :))
In a recent conference, I asked a girl how old she thought the character depicted was. She quickly responded that the protagonist was clearly a teenager.
“How do you know that she is a teenager? What are the clues?” I asked.
“Well, in the book she is dating a boy and there’s a little bit of drama. Adults don’t date – they only have mature relationships.”
Oh, if only you knew, sweetheart.