I have long clung to the belief that children need to be reading books at their own individual reading level and at their interest level. For this reason, I have never given up on independent reading and one-on-one reading conferences. And during these one-on-one reading conferences, I often assign "personal" vocabulary. Personal vocabulary is a word that a child struggles with when reading and conferring with me. If the child miscues, or even if they decode it perfectly, but can't explain it to me, I assign it. The child becomes accountable for that word, for learning its meaning and being able to use it with me in future book talks. Obviously, some children end up with more personal vocabulary words than their peers, but so what? Isn't that our job, to meet the individual needs of our students, instead of forcing them to fit into some kind of mold?