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Larson, Lisa; Dixon, Temoca; Townsend, Dianna – Voices from the Middle, 2013
The purpose for this action research study was to answer the question: "How can we enhance students' active engagement with academic vocabulary in social studies classes?" In this article, the authors share the strategies they developed through their research that proved most effective in engaging middle school students with active academic…
Descriptors: Action Research, Social Studies, Vocabulary Development, Classroom Techniques
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Perry, Tonya B. – Voices from the Middle, 2012
In today's middle school classroom, grouping is an essential learning tool that enhances students' ability to collaborate with others and deepen their own thinking. Implementing group work effectively, though, can be a challenge, especially since groups tend to end their work at "ragged" or staggered times. Creating "anchor activities"--respectful…
Descriptors: Middle Schools, Middle School Students, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Cooperative Learning
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Rose, Suzanne M. – Voices from the Middle, 2011
When asked to discuss their middle school language arts classes, talented eighth graders identified concerns and made suggestions for their teachers. Students voiced desire for choices in selecting reading materials, writing topics and genre. They preferred having extended periods of time to engage in reading and writing activities, rather than…
Descriptors: Language Arts, Grade 8, Middle Schools, Middle School Students
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Fisher, Peter; Blachowicz, Camille – Voices from the Middle, 2007
The authors address the need to teach students to become more word aware by focusing on metasemantic awareness, alongside morphological and syntactic awareness, as a basis for developing metacognition about words. They extend the concept of a definition map to other forms of vocabulary learning and provide several helpful graphic organizers.…
Descriptors: Syntax, Semantics, Metacognition, Metalinguistics
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Daniels, Harvey – Voices from the Middle, 2006
Long an advocate of literature circles, Daniels recaps the history of literature circles and cautions against the "terminology drift" that labels practices as literature circles when, in fact, they are not. He offers resources that anchor best practice in this area, and discusses how the concept is evolving and expanding. He also introduces us to…
Descriptors: Literature Appreciation, Reading Instruction, Class Activities, Group Activities
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Allen, Janet – Voices from the Middle, 2006
An expert on vocabulary instruction, Allen reviews what we know as a profession to be of value to students and offers three types of practices that demonstrate meaningful vocabulary instruction. She also describes how vocabulary words can be used as a rich source of assessment. (Contains 1 figure.)
Descriptors: Vocabulary, Vocabulary Development, Reading Comprehension, Class Activities
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Kajder, Sara – Voices from the Middle, 2006
Pacey, a likable and literate eighth-grader, saw school as "a place that kills your reading." With this alarming condemnation in mind, the author uses literacy narrative--a short, concise, digital video in which students meld still images, motion, print text, and soundtrack (both narration and music) in communicating ideas/insights/discoveries…
Descriptors: Literacy, Visual Literacy, Language Experience Approach, Grade 8
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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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Eagleton, Maya; Guinee, Kathleen; Langlais, Karen – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Describes a six-week Hero Inquiry project in detail so readers may implement similar units of study in their classrooms. Concludes that most of the students enjoyed the activities because they focused on strengthening skills for online research, and the hero theme was successful because students were allowed to research a self-selected topic of…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Educational Strategies, Inquiry, Internet
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Lee, Gretchen – Voices from the Middle, 2003
Outlines how the author and her fellow history teacher used kamishibai storyboards (a type of folk art common in Japan before World War II) in an integrated unit on Egypt to make textbook reading more meaningful to students. Notes that in order to complete the unit, students had to use multiple literacy skills as they combined textbook reading…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Foreign Countries, History Instruction, Integrated Activities
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