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Deringer, Marlene L. – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Notes that as an alternative to written responses to young adult literature (YAL) in the author's Adolescent Literature course, the preservice and inservice teachers must present at least one visual response to the class. Presents guidelines for the visual response. Gives some examples of outstanding visual responses in recent years. Encourages…
Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Art Activities, Critical Thinking, Higher Education
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Smith, Susan H.; Hickey, Bethany – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes the activity "Menu Magic!" that helps eighth graders review the power of adjectives. Notes that students "eat up this project" that promises to deliver the opportunity to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate while giving students the chance to work in cooperative groups. Describes and gives examples of the "Menu Magic" project. (SG)
Descriptors: Adjectives, Class Activities, Cooperative Learning, English Instruction
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Buehler, Jennifer S. – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes an end-of-year project in which students research an interesting figure from American history and have a "dinner party" in which they become the historical figure they have researched. Gives examples of ways to modify the number of assessed activities based on the class and time factors. (SG)
Descriptors: Class Activities, Creative Teaching, Grade 7, Middle Schools
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Haley, Nedrea; Huddleston, Ann – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Presents an activity to connect language arts, social studies, and technology in a meaningful way while encouraging students not only to read for details but to "read between the lines" and draw conclusions about a historical figure's inner thoughts and personality. Notes that the biopoem is a simple 10-line poem with a specific, easy-to-follow…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Critical Reading, Grade 6, Language Arts
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Sassano, Lisa – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Encourages student awareness of the connections between their classroom experiences and real life. Develops an idea to motivate and keep track of students' findings, the "I Spy Vocab Words" contest. Describes how the author implemented the contest. Notes how the program has students keep a log of vocabulary words they find in their everyday lives.…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Middle Schools, Reading Instruction, Student Motivation
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Roessing, Lesley – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Considers how to transfer a community fund-raising motivational tool to the classroom. Describes the Hoppin' Frog Contest, a project in which students work to earn "miles" instead of working for grades. (SG)
Descriptors: Class Activities, Fund Raising, Grade 8, Instructional Innovation
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Matthews-Burell, Jessica – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes how through a multifaceted heritage project, the author's eighth-grade students discover the magic of traveling with authors into the nooks and crannies of their seminal experiences, write their own budding memoirs, consider their values and beliefs, and compare family members' stories and values to their own. Outlines several elements…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Grade 8, Instructional Innovation, Literature Appreciation
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Allen, Janet – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Shares several middle level teachers' best ideas for teaching vocabulary. Describes using word lines with English as a second language students. Shares a vocabulary activity that could be used across content areas. Describes how to use the current words on a word wall to make a transition into a new unit and the beginning of new word lists. (SG)
Descriptors: Content Area Reading, English (Second Language), English Instruction, Instructional Innovation
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Templeton, Shane – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Looks at the best ideas for teaching vocabulary, relates them to the not-so-good ideas, and considers what they mean for the future of spelling instruction. Presents 4 "best ideas" and 3 "not-so-good" ideas for spelling instruction. (SG)
Descriptors: Futures (of Society), Instructional Improvement, Middle Schools, Spelling Instruction
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Goodman, Amy – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Explains that a Middle School Literacy Teacher Expert supports and guides teachers with innovative strategies to help students master basic literacy skills to become lifelong learners. Explains the A.C.T.I.V.E. strategy to encourage students to ask, comment, track down, infer, visualize, and Eureka! (synthesize). (PM)
Descriptors: Critical Reading, Middle Schools, Reader Response, Reading Instruction
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Lain, Sheryl – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes how many students expect reading to be about answering literal-level questions, taking true-false tests, and figuring out what a teacher wants to know. Explains the Six Traits of Reading from Northwest Regional Educational Labs: decoding; building context; comprehending; interpreting; synthesizing; and evaluating. Notes that these sorts…
Descriptors: Context Clues, Decoding (Reading), Instructional Effectiveness, Interpretive Skills
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Moran, Karen; Carson, Jennifer E. – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Contends that talking about texts in a conversational environment, during and after reading, allows students to think about a text and think about their thinking. Explains "conversation sparks," which push students to make a variety of type of comments that include predictions, questions, clarifications, and inferences. Concludes that giving…
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Critical Reading, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Inferences
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Van Gorder, Bethany Lyn – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Explains the process of focusing on one critical reading strategy--questioning. Notes that the teacher first modeled questioning while reading a book aloud. Concludes that as students become full participants in questioning, they understand new vocabulary, enjoy reading, and solve their problems. (PM)
Descriptors: Independent Reading, Inferences, Middle Schools, Problem Solving
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Rief, Linda – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Contends that the value of writing as a powerful tool for teaching reading is often underestimated. Explains that when students write and revise their writing, they are reading to make sure what they have written is clearly understood by themselves and their audience. Notes that for many students, reading what someone else thinks stimulates their…
Descriptors: Audience Awareness, Middle Schools, Reader Response, Reading Instruction
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Jago, Carol – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Explains that plot and structure, character, setting, point of view, style and language, symbol, and theme are the building blocks of fiction. Contends that these elements of literature provide readers with the tools they need for navigating difficult texts. Concludes that when teachers determine that a novel's setting is too foreign or the point…
Descriptors: English Instruction, Fiction, Middle Schools, Reading Comprehension
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