I've been so busy that I haven't followed up on some stuff I posted about a long time ago and meant to come back to. Here's a quick follow-up on one thing.
A few months ago I wrote about being on a summer reading committee, and about my cousin's seder-table diatribe against summer reading programs in which everyone reads the same book. After that post, a few emails, and a discussion in our department meeting, I somehow ended up on a committee of two--me and a wise librarian--charged with creating a summer reading program based on (mirabile dictu) student choice.
So we made up a suggested reading list and wrote up a simple plan for students to recommend books to one other in English class this spring, read books of their own choosing over the summer (they must read at least three books) and then report back on their reading in the fall. I'm a little worried that some of my colleagues will be pressed for time and won't bother to do the activity; I'm a little concerned that we haven't tried to provide kids with books; and I wish we had had more time to make sure everyone was on board--but at least in principle we now, at least for this year, have a summer reading program that is entirely based on students' choosing their own books.