last week, before I left for the conference, I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do with this class, this text, this week. I also realized that they were not very clear about the next major assignment (find an academic article on any text we read and write an essay presenting and arguing with or agreeing with the main issues) and might need some practice.
so while I was totally overwhelmed with getting my conference presentation ready, these folks got a new assignment: here are 10 article titles (and instructions about how to find them) about the book you're reading for next week. sign up in small groups to meet and discuss and then present 10-15 minutes about one of the articles. I was grateful for their willingness to get into small groups (I set them according to how many pages in the articles! every 5 pages was another person so there were groups of 2 and 3 and 4 and 5) and figured they had last Thursday's class off while I was away.
today -- they were awesome. they absolutely rose to the challenge, took the articles apart, came up with discussion questions and it was a dynamic class. and there are 4 more presentations on Thursday!
not sure where the whole idea came from, but today I was so exhausted and not capable of thinking or creating or doing, and here, this whole class just came forth and ran the show.