A big goal for me in this second semester of using the reading diaries was to prompt people to go beyond plot summaries and instead do something more reflective, sharing their own personal reactions, asking questions, etc. ... and so far, so good. The first diaries are coming in, and they are much more interesting to read this way when it is more about each person's reaction to the story and what really grabs their attention! That should also make the diary posts (two each week) more useful as the students figure out just what part of the story they want to retell in their own words (one story per week). 
Oh, i really love the start of the semester, esp. when it seems like the tweaks and changes to the assignments are working well! :-)
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