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Rief, Linda – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes the author's experience in keeping a reading-writing journal. Notes how her journal began as an academic journal, but her personal life crept into it. Notes that her students experienced the same thing. (SG)
Descriptors: Journal Writing, Middle Schools, Personal Writing, Reading Instruction
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Daniels, Harvey – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Discusses the influence of book club experiences on teachers. Argues that teachers simply must have a ready awareness of their own reading-as-thinking processes in order to effectively share and demonstrate them to kids. Suggests the implementation of teacher book clubs. (SG)
Descriptors: Instructional Effectiveness, Literature Appreciation, Metacognition, Middle Schools
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Probst, Robert – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Examines ideas about the literate and the illiterate, the tutored and the untutored in the poem "Answer," by Mary Oliver. Suggests that if educators want students to read carefully and analyze conscientiously, then the works they study have to matter to them. Discusses universal literacies, literacy in school and out, classroom discourse and real…
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Literacy, Middle Schools, Poetry
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Blau, Sheridan – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Notes that performative literacy can be identified as an enabling knowledge-- knowledge that enables readers to activate and use all the other forms of knowledge that are required for the exercise of anything like a critical or disciplined literacy. Identifies seven traits as constitutive of performative literacy, each one associated with actions…
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, English Instruction, Instructional Improvement, Middle Schools
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Jago, Carol – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Discusses how James Gray, founder of the Bay Area Writing Project and later the National Writing Project, began with a simple idea--successful teachers are the best teachers of teachers. Describes how James Gray laid a foundation for what has become a national network with 175 sites across the nation, providing a professional home for thousands of…
Descriptors: Higher Education, Professional Development, Program Descriptions, Reflective Teaching
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Templeton, Shane – Voices from the Middle, 2002
Describes for middle school teachers the logic of spelling; how spelling knowledge may be assessed and developed; and how attention to spelling at the middle grades might be organized. Hopes that this broad overview may offer some support in efforts to guide students toward seeing spelling more broadly. (SG)
Descriptors: Class Activities, Instructional Effectiveness, Middle Schools, Spelling Instruction
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Jago, Carol – Voices from the Middle, 2002
Argues there is a problem with how California local school boards and district administration interpret curriculum and instruction in terms of their role in the evaluation of schools, teachers, and students. Notes that the California Teachers Association proposed legislation that would allow teachers to negotiate their role in decision-making…
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Curriculum Development, Decision Making, Elementary Secondary Education
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Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. – Voices from the Middle, 2002
Describes events of the Maine Writing Project Summer Institute. Notes that what happened in this past summer's institute can serve as a model for the ways poetry can be integrated throughout educators' work with students and throughout the lives of educators. (SG)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Innovation, Poetry, Summer Programs
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Edwards, Sarah – Voices from the Middle, 2002
Considers how educators can best prepare their students to meet the demands of test standards without sacrificing what they know to be effective teaching. Provides examples of how addressing the standards improved both the author's teaching and student learning by providing a focus and a challenge that moved her out of her comfort zone. (SG)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Innovation, Middle Schools
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Hill, Margaret H.; Griffith, Paula E.; Scholl, Yvette M.; Christy, Sue; Votteler, Nancy K. – Voices from the Middle, 2002
Suggests students who go to school under the shadow of high-stakes tests (such as the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills) may feel that their educational lives have been stolen, reduced to the fear of passing or not passing one single exam. Presents transcriptions of four interviews with four outstanding middle school teachers. Suggests ways to…
Descriptors: English Instruction, High Stakes Tests, Interviews, Middle Schools
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Denyer, Jenny; LaFleur, Debra – Voices from the Middle, 2001
Describes some of what educators have learned about the complex task they ask students to tackle when they put them in peer groups to talk with each other about their writing. Analyses the work of one peer revision group and illustrates the complicated work that students can engage in as they struggle to justify their writerly decisions to their…
Descriptors: Group Discussion, Peer Groups, Revision (Written Composition), Secondary Education
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Patterson, Nancy G. – Voices from the Middle, 2001
Summarizes five important studies that teachers should be aware of, which offer direction about how grammar should or should not be taught. Summarizes useful theory as well, concluding that the teaching of grammar in the language arts classroom must happen within the context of larger lessons and experiences with written and spoken language. (SR)
Descriptors: English Instruction, Grammar, Instructional Effectiveness, Integrated Activities
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Patterson, Nancy, Ed.; Pipkin, Gloria, Ed. – Voices from the Middle, 2001
Notes and discusses resources on the World Wide Web that deal with grammar and that may be useful to teachers. Lists traditional grammar websites, including online handbooks and style guides, but warns that the isolated teaching of grammar has little impact on student writing. Concludes that websites are needed that actually show teachers how to…
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, English Instruction, Grammar, Language Arts
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Van Horn, Leigh, Ed. – Voices from the Middle, 2001
Discusses four books that will be useful to teachers who are rethinking how and why they teach grammar, and who want to connect and imbed the study of grammar in students' thinking and writing. (SR)
Descriptors: Class Activities, English Instruction, Grammar, Language Arts
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Van Horn, Leigh, Ed. – Voices from the Middle, 2001
Discusses six books intended to help teachers reach struggling readers: books that outline strategy instruction, offer a wealth of information, and show how to create instructional sequences and activities that will develop and enhance the conceptual, procedural, and textual knowledge of students. (SR)
Descriptors: Class Activities, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Reading Difficulties
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