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Deepening Student Interactions with Texts
Guest Editor: Denise Morgan
May 2015.
With the upcoming implementation of the Common Core State Standards there has been much conversation about close reading of texts. What conversations should teachers have about close reading? What does this idea really mean, and how can students be supported in learning how to read closely? Is close reading a procedure or an outcome? How is instruction differentiated? How can teachers accomplish this work with their students? What practices are working? Articles should highlight understandings teachers and students must hold to successfully accomplish this work. Deadline: May 1, 2014

Motivation for Learning and Life
September 2015.
Motivation has long been viewed as a key element of learning (e.g., Wigfield & Guthrie, 2000). Among middle school students, motivation is a linchpin to learning, even at a time developmentally when overall motivation for schoolwork is in decline, bottoming out at seventh grade. At the same time, young adolescents increasingly turn to their peer groups for validation and support. The interplay between motivation and development provides middle school teachers with the unique ability to capitalize on this. How do you build motivation in your classroom? Does it influence task design? In what ways can motivation be leveraged such that students develop a sense of self as they progress academically? In a time when college- and career-readiness is on every educator’s lips, in what ways does motivation fit into the equation? In this issue, we invite submissions addressing the link between motivation, learning, and life. Deadline: September 1, 2014

Writing Matters
December 2015.
Writing is the fullest realization of all that is learned in language arts, yet it is often relegated to the end of a unit of study. However, the process of composition can offer much to learners. Creative writing can result in self-discovery, and writing-tolearn can deepen disciplinary thinking. How do you use writing in a meaningful way in your classroom, and to what end? In what ways do digital tools enhance composition and production? In what ways can middle school educators improve their own writing through professional development? In this issue, we explore all aspects of writing, including skills development, writing-to-learn, creative writing, writing across the curriculum, and formal essay writing. Deadline: December 1, 2014

Research and Investigation
February 2016.
We often say that we want our students to be lifelong learners, but how do we make that a reality? One way is to empower students by fostering inquiry and investigation. The ability to formulate meaningful questions and conduct research to address those queries is critical for deepening their understanding of a topic. Middle school students are learning to flex their investigative muscles, to explore the world around them, but they need guidance to do so. How do you foster inquiry in your classroom? What kind of research skills are vital for middle school students to learn in digital environments? In what ways do students share their findings with one another? Deadline: February 1, 2015

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