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English Journal, Vol. 86, No. 1, January 1997

Cover Art for English Journal, Vol. 86, No. 1, January 1997

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Alternative Assessment

  • RainbowTeachers/Rainbow Students: Power Brokers at the Gateway of Language Use

    MaryCarmen Cruz and Ogle Burks Duff

    Abstract: Discusses two English-as-a-second-language high school students whose language proficiencies are subtle. Discusses opportunities for such students to use language powerfully. Addresses attitude and student performance, and building lessons that lead to success.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Teaching Ideas

    Abstract: Discusses having students dig deep into a novel to create material that demonstrates their understanding of the characters; and having students illustrate their understanding of poetry by the way they read it, by the music they select to have in the background, and by the connecting commentary that links poems together. Provides sample rubrics to be used in determining grades.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Young Adult Literature: Interdisciplinary Virginia Hamilton

    Nina Mikkelsen and Joan Kaywell

    Abstract: Weaves descriptions of 16 novels by Virginia Hamilton into an account of young adult literature that can be used to make effective connections across the disciplines.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • One Person's Opinion: An Average Essay

    Corey Quick

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Teaching Ideas: Assessing Out Loud

    Diana Mitchell, Joseph P. Bordlee III, and Kevin Cordi

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • From the Editor

    Virginia R. Monseau

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Middle Ground

    Bonnie Ericson and Richard H. Fehlman

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Bedside Table: An Island Retreat

    Andrea E. McNally

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • This World of English

    Daniel A. Heller

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • The Rise and Fall of a Statewide Assessment System

    Martha Dudley

    Abstract: Details the history of California's experience with large-scale writing assessment. Describes the introduction, development, and scoring of the California Assessment Program, later renamed the California Learning Assessment System (CLAS). Discusses controversies over removal of certain writing prompts and objections to CLAS. Notes that funding for CLAS was vetoed in 1994.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Assessment

  • Suggestions for Responding to the Dilemma of Grading Students' Writing

    Rebecca S. Anderson and Bruce W. Speck

    Abstract: Discusses the four-week summer Memphis (Tennessee) Urban Writing Institute, during which a furor erupted over the dilemma of grading. Provide a number of approaches to grading students' writing, including minimalist grading, cassette grading, collaborative grading, and portfolio grading. Suggests that teachers consider the grading dilemma and become agents for change.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Writing

  • Zen and the Art of Grade Motivation

    Liz Mandrell

    Abstract: Presents an English teacher's irreverent look at grades and grading. Argues that learning must somehow be linked to a product, which must be measured or graded to gauge the worth of the product according to the merit it deserves.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment

  • Exhibitions of Mastery: The Tail that Wags the Dog

    Mark Bingen

    Abstract: Details how exhibitions of mastery can be implemented in English classrooms. Discusses what exhibitions of mastery are, implementation of exhibitions, creation of new knowledge, and assessment.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment

  • The Development of an Authentic Assessment Instrument: The Scored Discussion

    Chapman Hood Frazier

    Abstract: Describes development of a rubric for assessing class discussion. Discusses procedures, student roles, and assessment in a "scored discussion." Notes that students find the process to be both demanding and informing. Details the history of California's experience with large-scale writing assessment.

    Keywords: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Assessment, Pedagogy

  • The Learning Response Log: An Assessment Tool

    Elizabeth Perritt Lee

    Abstract: Discusses uses learning logs for student assessment. Defines learning logs. Discusses structuring the logs; student voices and responses; a map drawing assignment; and using logs for evaluation.

    Keywords: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Assessment, Reading

  • Is This for a Grade? A Personal Look at Journals

    Ava Chandler

    Abstract: Rejects grading student journals. Describes various approaches to journal writing evaluation the author used with her students and approaches used by her professors when she returned to school. Questions the educational process of grading student journals. Discusses how to create real dialog.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Writing

  • Encouraging Student Writers: Reversing Roles in Senior Composition

    Jill Hamilton

    Abstract: Discusses a teacher's reactions when a student commented on the teacher's short story. Discusses dealing with feedback, the vulnerability of writers, and attitude changes. Claims that writing with students shifted the focus of the teacher's writing instruction and the focus of students' writing.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Writing

  • Creating a Two-Tiered Portfolio Rubric

    C. Beth Burch

    Abstract: Describes how to create a rubric for portfolios which includes quantity and quality. Presents suggestions for implementing a two-tiered portfolio rubric.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment

  • Portfolios-The Story Behind the Story

    Sheryl L. Mondock

    Abstract: Claims that asking students to evaluate their own reading and writing encourages more authentic assessment. Discusses guiding reflection in writing and reading workshops, and teacher responsibility for grading. Presents student comments that show students are able to self-evaluate and improve their efforts to justify higher ratings.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Pedagogy

  • Bringing Homer's Odyssey Up to Date: An Alternative Assessment

    Sallie M. Fine

    Abstract: Discusses a collaborative writing project where all students, regardless of ability, can demonstrate their understanding of Homer's "Odyssey" by writing a contemporary odyssey. Notes that students eagerly awaited and then read the final compilation of the project.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Writing

  • Authentic Assessment in the Literature Classroom

    Michelle Walker

    Abstract: Discusses various ways to strike a balance between total teacher control and total student control of the assessment process in a high school American literature course. Discusses research projects, advertising flyers, newspapers, the "transcendental change plan," and the thematic mobile.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Literature

  • On Tuesday Morning: The Case for Standards for the English Language Arts

    James M. Brewbaker

    Abstract: Argues that the "Standards for the English Language Arts" (SELA) gives English teachers direction. Discusses what "teaching English" means. Suggests that SELA is not a prescriptive list of measurement items nor a cookbook for skillful English teaching: SELA is a statement of principles of, for, and by professionals, and a K-12 statement of process-centered learning and teaching principles.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Standards

  • The NCTE/IRA Standards: A Surrender

    Jeff Zorn

    Abstract: Suggests that the "Standards for the English Language Arts" (copublished by the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association) makes good sense about literature and almost none at all about literacy. Argues that for 99% of the school population, the de-emphasis of the "Standards" on formal written communication is "entirely misguided."

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Standards

  • The Little Standards that Couldn't

    Henry B. Maloney

    Abstract: Traces the public furor that greeted the National Council of Teachers/International Reading Association's "Standards for the English Language Arts." Discusses responses to criticisms. Argues that the language in the "Standards" is flat; the standards are meant to be guidelines, not mandates; and the emphasis was on process.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Standards

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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