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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 2007

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 2007

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Getting Lost: Opportunities for Discovering New Directions

  • On Getting Lost, Finding One's Direction, and Teacher Research

    Jerome C. Harste and Christine Leland

    Abstract: “There are lots of ways to get lost when it comes to teaching literacy.” Harste and Leland touch common ground when they bring to the fore the concerns all educators have about establishing clear educational goals and finding ways to achieve them. They suggest that the best teachers are philosophers and that an inquiry-based philosophy—for students and teachers—will “sustain literacy at the center of the curriculum.”

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Literacy Café: Making Writing Authentic

    Erika Daniels

    Abstract: The “Literacy Café,” a celebration of genre study and student writing, offers students (and visitors!) a positive environment in which to engage in reading and discussion of writing without self-consciousness or fear of criticism. It works because students learn to recognize writing as a learning tool and a relevant, authentic skill in the real world. Daniels walks us through the preparation, context, and execution of this sound and successful strategy.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Reaffirming the Writing Workshop for Young Adolescents

    Sheryl Lain

    Abstract: Students who engage in the writing process learn to write. Period. And yet many teachers, including Lain when she was a beginning teacher, don’t know how to make the time for it, how to structure it, and how to evaluate it. Here, Lain offers us the help we need by focusing on the teaching tools for introducing students to this format, the mini-lessons that cover an array of writing strategies, the writing modes—transactional, poetry, fiction, creative writing—that promise variety, and the importance of conferencing and publishing student writing.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Sustained Silent Reading: Making Adaptations

    Deb DeBenedictis

    Abstract: Packaged programs for direct instructional reading are becoming the norm, even as research supports SSR as a successful way to enhance student reading achievement and student attitudes toward reading DeBenedictus shows us how she has achieved goals set by NCLB while using SSR in her classroom, adaptations of SSR and the research that supports them, and how to respond to critics who don’t understand its value.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • You Can't Hide in R5: Restructuring Independent Reading to Be More Strategic and Engaging

    Nicki Clausen-Grace and Michelle Kelley

    Abstract: Clausen-Grace and Kelley believe that when it comes to independent reading, the question is not whether to use it, but rather how we can implement it to get the most benefit for our students. Here, they discuss the supporting research, defuse potential problems, identify characteristics of effective SSR programs, and outline their own action research project, including graphic organizers

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Call for Manuscripts

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • EDITORS' MESSAGE: Getting Lost: Opportunities for Discovering New Directions

    Roxanne Henkin, Janis Harmon and Elizabeth Pate

    Abstract: The editors introduce authors who have tackled the challenge of adapting and improving commercial, schoolwide, or classroom-level programs that they recognized as lacking. In the process, they discovered “new directions” that help us address our own questions for reflection and discovery.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary


    Carol Gilles and Jim Johnston

    Abstract: Two members of the Middle Level Steering Committee inform middle level members about the purpose and goals of NCTE’s program office in Washington DC. Their hope is to encouraging educators across the country to spread the word and get involved in these important issues.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • NEXT STEPS IN THE JOURNEY: Beyond Programs: Asserting Our Authority as Teachers

    Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, editor

    Abstract: Reflection and revision are the result of knowledge, experience, and the willingness to risk; they are essential, says Wilhelm, to “play[ing] out the big possibilities” in “something as complex and intensely human as teaching.” Even as a contributor to the national standards project, various literature anthologies, and reading and composition programs, Wilhelm strongly believes that teachers are the only experts on their own students, and they must be able to and allowed to adapt programs based on their own knowledge and experience.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADOLESCENTS: Getting Lost in a Book: Unconscious Delight and Lifelong Readers

    Teri Lesesne, editor

    Abstract: “Readers are made and not born,” says expert Teri Lesesne. Here she suggests books in which readers can lose themselves, and “unconscious delight” that may turn a student into a lifelong reader.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • STUDENT TO STUDENT: Lost and Found

    Kim Ford, editor

    Abstract: We can all be lost—literally or emotionally. Books can serve as our road map and introduce us to others who feel as we do. This month’s crop of reviews all begin with someone or something lost. If we’re lucky, they will lead a reader to find a lifelong favorite.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • TECHNOLOGY TOOLKIT: Navigating the Detours

    Sandy Hayes, editor

    Abstract: Technology training usually suffers from a two-pronged problem. First, the demonstration content is so simple that when we use the new technology in our classrooms and something goes wrong (and it will), we abandon it, blaming the technology. Second, no one teaches us how to troubleshoot those inevitable glitches. Hayes offers some practical tips for using technology in the classroom and for avoiding the stress that accompanies the most common problems.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

* 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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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts