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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 16, No. 2, December 2008

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 16, No. 2, December 2008

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: At the Crossroads: Time for Another Open Call

  • Editors’ Message: At the Crossroads: Time for Another Open Call

    Roxanne Henkin, Janis Harmon, Elizabeth Pate, and Honor Moorman

    Abstract: Having asked, “What curricular, instructional, and/or assessment crossroads have you and your students faced? Which path did you take? What did you learn along the way?” the editors introduce a variety of compelling and thought-provoking articles and columns.

    Keywords: Middle

  • No Middle Ground: Taking a Stand at the Crossroads

    Susan Hynds

    Abstract: Declaring that “public education is at a crossroads where the future of our world could not be more precariously poised,” the author addresses the challenges facing middle school teachers, such as the narrowing of curriculum due to high-stakes assessments. She argues that students should not leave middle school without the “interpretive skills” developed through the arts, opportunities to interpret literature from a personal stance, and “a hunger for routing out what’s beneath and beyond the printed work, the rap lyric, the image, or the electronic text.”

    Keywords: Middle

  • Conflict in a Sixth-Grade Book Club: The Impact of a Rule-Driven Discourse

    K. Dara Hill

    Abstract: This study examines unintended consequences during a 6th-grade book club discussion of Bette Bao Lord’s (1984) In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. The participants modeled a book club discussion, otherwise known as the fish bowl, for a newly enrolled student. Unintended consequences occurred within the realm of deviating from the rules of discourse, posited in “I Can” statements. Results suggest that audio-taping peer-led discussion groups can enhance analysis of matters that are difficult to fully interpret in the moment.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Online or Face-to-Face? Which Class to Take

    Susan Cramer & Steven Cramer

    Abstract: Online classes are a viable option in today's educational landscape, but are they right for your school and students? This article reviews the status of online education, 21st century skills, best practices in online education, and online classes as experienced by a middle school student and parent.

    Keywords: Middle

  • The Doubling Moment: Resurrecting Edgar Allan Poe

    J. Bradley Minnick & Fernando Mergil

    Abstract: This article expands upon and activates Jeffrey Wilhelm’s and Brian Edmiston’s (1998) concept of a doubling of viewpoints by encouraging middle level students to use dramatization to take on multiple perspectives, to pose interpretive questions, and to enhance critical inquiry from inside and outside of texts. The doubling moment is both the activation of multi-various viewpoints and an experiential act of critical inquiry through dramatic engagement of, in this case, Edgar Allan Poe’s prose and poetry.

    Keywords: Middle

  • The Time Is Now! Talking with African American Youth about College

    Stephanie Power Carter, James S. Damico, and Kafi Kumasi-Johnson

    Abstract: This article explores our work with African American youth in an after-school community literacy program. We examine how a group of these students used a set of Internet-based technology tools to evaluate whether or not a group of colleges would affirm their cultural identity and help them succeed. What we learned from the students has caused us to rethink the relationships between college exploration, access, cultural identity, and students’ potential academic success.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Next Steps in the Journey: Teaching with Urgency: A Call for Immediate Actions

    Jeff Wilhelm

    Abstract: With a staggering number of students dropping out of school, widespread below-grade reading proficiency, and PISA results showing a demoralizing lag internationally in math, science, and general problem solving, teachers need to exercise all the control available to them to engage students in meaningful learning. Wilhelm suggests six steps teachers can take right now.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Books for Young Adolescents: Navigating the Crossroads with YA Books

    Shawn Bird and Vickey M. Giles

    Abstract: Recognizing that books can help students make better choices, the editors review four YA books that might strike a chord with your next troubled student: Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor; A Field Guide to High School by Marissa Walsh; Click: One Novel, Ten Authors by David Almond et al.; Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Stories along the Way: Rise Up

    Penny Kittle

    Abstract: Understanding the reality of students who aren’t engaged in literacy, Kittle proposes nothing less than revolution. She asks you to evaluate whether your students read enough, write enough, and rewrite enough, then challenges: If not, what would you have to change to make that happen?” She shares examples from her classroom, and leaves us with a call to courage ... now.

    Keywords: Middle

  • New Puzzles/Next Moves: At the Crossroads: A Classroom Teacher’s Key Role in RTI

    Nancy Shanklin

    Abstract: Response to Intervention (RTI) is a term we hear more often these days, and it applies largely to students who fall under the purview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Shanklin urges us to consider three questions: What students are we talking about? Whose responsibility are these students? What interventions might be helpful, and how do I help students gain access to them? She then suggests schools can address these questions most effectively by reviewing their entire school’s model for adolescent literacy. Knowledge of your school’s services, interventions, and terminology will help all teachers exploit this potentially vital tool to their students’ advantage.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Student to Student: The Nature of Friendship

    Kim Ford

    Abstract: Friendship lies at the very heart of the middle school experience. Here are books to help students navigate those waters, recognize what (and who) has value, and determine what kind of friend they want to be.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Technology Toolkit: Wordle

    Sandy Hayes

    Abstract: With the misleading descriptor of “toy for generating word clouds,” Wordle can be a powerful classroom tool, says Hayes. She outlines how its use for reading skills (predicting, summarizing, and comparing) and writing skills (prewriting, revising, generating poetry, expanding multimodal literacies) can engage students and develop creative and critical thinking.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Professional Reading for Middle Level Educators: Decision Making for Literacy Development

    Penny Silvers

    Abstract: Books that can help you make informed instructional decisions and make school more meaningful for students are reviewed: A Declaration of Readers’ Rights: Renewing Our Commitment to Students by JoAnn Bass, Sheryl Dasinger, Laurie Elish-Piper, Mona Matthews, and Victoria Risko; Differentiating Reading Instruction: How to Teach Reading to Meet the Needs of Each Student by Laura Robb; Teaching Reading: A Differentiated Approach by Laura Robb; Creating Critical Classrooms: K-8 Reading and Writing with an Edge by Mitzi Lewison.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Bumps in the Road: Reading in Middle School: Bumps in the Literacy Crossroads

    Katrina Willard Hall

    Abstract: Certainly a major bump in the literacy road today is the apparent conflict between school literacies and the preferred literacy activities of students outside of school. After family conversation about a nephew who was getting poor grades in language arts, Hall shares her thinking on the dilemmas of what constitutes literacy, how literacies kids honor can be meaningfully incorporated into the classroom, and how we can help students straddle the divide between their preferences and the literacies needed for success in school.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Postcard from the Middle Level Section

    Sandy Hayes

    Abstract: Hayes looks back over her five years as Middle Level representative on the Executive Committee, reviewing significant changes in Strategic Governance, Governmental Relations and Public Policy, Professional Development, and NCTE’s online presence. She closes with initiatives specific to the Middle Level Section.

    Keywords: Middle

* 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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Posted By: Anonymous User on 3/22/2010 3:54:16 PM

Is Voices from the middle a peer reviewed journal?

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