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Speaking and Listening
September 2014. The Common Core State Standards include specific expectations for middle school students and their ability to communicate orally. Unfortunately, these are often forgotten when schools focus their attention on reading and writing. How have you ensured that students develop their oral language skills? What connections do you make between speaking and listening and reading and writing? Are there effective ways for facilitating students’ listening comprehension and presentation skills? In this issue, we explore the oldest of our communicative abilities and look forward to innovative ways that speaking and listening are addressed in the classroom. Deadline: September 1, 2013
December 2014. Social networking platforms, online video libraries, and e-learning systems are making it increasingly easy to blur the lines between in- and outof-school learning. With the ascension of digital environments for learning in the classroom, a growing number of educators and researchers are talking about blended learning. Some states are now requiring that secondary students take at least one online course as a condition of graduation. Flipped learning practices that frontload content as homework in order to devote classroom time to projects and discussion are also growing in popularity. In this issue of Voices from the Middle, we invite critical examinations of the practices that can support blended learning in middle school English classrooms. What are the emerging best practices for blended learning, as well as the cautions? How can teachers who use blended learning practices be supported? Is blended learning good for everyone, or are there exceptions? How can blended learning be used to support English learners and students with disabilities? Deadline: December 1, 2013
Learning across the Disciplines
March 2015. The attention to disciplinary literacy and knowledge building are opening up new collaboration opportunities for English teachers and their content area colleagues. In states where the Common Core State Standards are used, the focus on literacy in the disciplines is prompting communication about relevant applications. In this issue, we focus on the experiences of middle school English teachers and content colleagues as they work together to develop literacy across and within disciplines. How are you collaborating with teachers in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects, and what are the results you’re witnessing with your students? Are innovative methods being utilized with students? How are these practices different from interdisciplinary or content area reading methods of the past? Is technology playing a role in your classroom to develop disciplinary literacy?
Deadline: March 1, 2014