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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

Quality Teaching: 5 Years Later
May 2016.
The first issue under our editorship focused on defining quality teaching. We wonder how the thinking about quality teaching has changed in the past five years. How have the Common Core State Standards impacted teaching and learning in your classroom or school? How has technology focused instruction? In an era of new assessments and new curriculum, how do you define quality instruction for all students? We are also interested in
what quality instruction looks like for students who have experienced less success in school, specifically students with disabilities, students who struggle academically or socially, students who have been marginalized by schools or society, and English learners. Let’s celebrate good teaching and the excellent teachers who focus their lessons on learning each day.
Deadline: May 1, 2015

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