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Voices from the Middle Call for Manuscripts

Upcoming Themes

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Greetings from the editors
As former middle level English language arts teachers, we know well the joys and challenges of teaching middle level learners. We hope that Voices from the Middle will continue to serve you as a vibrant source of professional development, highlighting best practices in the craft of middle level teaching, pieces from middle grades and young adult authors, and even ideas, responses, and celebrations from the students we serve. We hope to do so with a growing attention to offering our readers interactive and multimodal content. We welcome your participation in growing YOUR journal in ways that make an impact on your students and your teaching.

—Sara Kajder (ThUniversity of Georgia) and Shelbie Witte (Oklahoma State University)

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What’s Next? Digital Tools, Social Media, and the Literacy Practices
May 2018
The emergence of digital tools, social media, and new/next literacy practices in our English classrooms brought new opportunities for reading and writing alongside our students. Together, we’ve learned to situate our thinking on the practices that new tools invite (rather than the tools themselves) and we’ve connected, networked, and created. So now, what’s next? How do we update learning to be responsive and relevant for our learners who have grown up in literacy environments marked by access to tools that are dramatically different from what those before them have known? What is relevant and most needed? How do we select which “new” things to pay attention to? What do we do to build equity in access, in equipment, and in teacher capacity to purposefully and creatively develop digital and media literacy skills in student readers and writers? How do you put students’ digital content to work outside of your classroom spaces?  What does innovation look like now? How do we ensure that we are doing better things and not just “things better” (which might largely be a moment of replicating non-digital lessons in digital spaces)? We encourage you to take risks in this issue and to think beyond the printed page in what you share/create. We invite submissions that encompass all sorts of modalities and media. Submission deadline: August 1, 2017

Where "Art" Thou?
September  2018
Over the past twenty years, there has been a steady decline in the offering of the "arts" in our schools. We define the arts broadly here, in an effort to encompass music, art, dance, design, drama, and other artistic expressions of thought. As budgets and standardized curricula drive the choices schools make, our classrooms and, ultimately, our students, pay the price for the lack of creativity and opportunities for artistic expression in our schools. As is typically the case, middle level teachers are working tirelessly to supplement and to provide artistic outlets for our students. This issue asks a simple question . . . Where "Art" Thou? Where is art found in your curriculum? In what ways are your students given the agency to use their artistic talents and curiosities to express their understanding of themselves and of their world? How are literacy educators working with art educators within your districts to draw stronger ties between the core and elective curriculum? How are you using the arts and creativity to combat the test-driven culture so prevalent in today’s schools? What are some suggestions for how teachers can better implement artistic and thinking into their curriculum? We welcome traditional manuscripts and other artistic expressions for this issue. Submission deadline: January 1, 2018

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