Students in my classes are given collaborative activities on a daily basis. While they are working, they drift into conversations about their days, or families, or relationships.
I typically focus on grading or planning while they are at work (today--I steal moments to write this post) and if I appear absorbed this somehow translates to either my presumed deafness, or a ready availability.
I'm listening to the hum of their work/chat now. Here are the snippets I've gleaned...one boy is a vegetarian--except he likes fish, the dance concert tonight will be off the hook, but ______ needs to get her timing down or she's out. One student really likes the book and how the main character gives zero f&*^% and it's giving her the courage to quit her job, because "oppression".
Another's mom is still mad about last week--her boyfriend is not allowed in the house. Out of nowhere two direct questions:
"Mrs. Burnquist, have you ever been to a Rave?"
"Mrs. Burnquist, what are your feels on Romeo & Juliet?"
A quick tangent ensues. Raves were after my time, they used to just be called parties. I have strong feels about Romeo and Juliet. Most of them are good. Why?
D. is debating attending a Rave, but by discussion's end she decides to hang with a friend instead.
R. thinks Romeo and Juliet is a crock and relationships are really overrated. No way would she off herself for some guy. She does wish her boyfriend would stop expecting her to text him 24/7.
It has been a successful tangent in my opinion. Even though we aren't linking to any state standards--other standards are being met. I put Vivaldi on and sure enough, within about five minutes the class begins to settle.
The discussions are tabled as independent work begins and, as if on cue, a steady rain begins to fall.