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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 17, No. 1, September 2009

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 17, No. 1, September 2009

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Service-Learning: The Intersection of Civic and Academic Engagement

  • Call for Manuscripts

  • Editors’ Message: Service-Learning: The Intersection of Civic and Academic Engagement

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

    Abstract: The editors introduce the topic of Service-Learning as it applies to language arts classrooms, allowing young adolescents to use their knowledge in meaningful, real-world contexts. As a community-based approach to literacy, service-learning involves the application of academic skills to address or solve issues and problems in the world.

  • Tipping the Tipping Point: Public Engagement, Education, and Service-Learning

    Carl Glickman and Katherine Thompson

    Abstract: Educators are seeing a ray of hope as policymakers across political lines acknowledge that prescriptive education is not working and as educators find success in involving students actively in real work and meaningful goals within their communities. Glickman and Thompson define service-learning, offer successful examples from real classrooms, and ask, “Are we ready to push further the connection of service and learning in our classrooms, schools, and universities?”

  • Schoolwide Literacy and Service-Learning through the Millennium Development Goals

    Amanda Wall and J. Spencer Edmunds

    Abstract: This paper explores the ways one school continues to enhance both literacy and service-learning through the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Over the course of their middle-school years, young adolescents at Canterbury School visit a range of sites in the community. They also explore service-learning at home and around the world by linking service-learning explicitly to academic tasks. An experiential learning unit in seventh grade allows students to understand global issues and challenges from participants’ perspectives. They then bring these perspectives to bear in service-learning and in writing assignments in the eighth-grade year.

  • Making the Switch: Lightbulbs, Literacy, and Service-Learning

    Laura A. Chiaravalloti

    Abstract: Service-learning is an instructional methodology teachers can use to foster student engagement in rigorous curricula. Through service-learning, middle level students see that what they are learning in school is real and important, and that they can be valued, contributing members of society.  In this article, the Titans team at Remington Middle School embraces service-learning.   The “Make the Switch!” public-awareness campaign is an example of how a service-learning project can be used to expose students to curriculum standards through rich, authentic learning contexts while also promoting the social-emotional growth of young adolescents.

  • Next Steps in the Journey: The Audacity of Service: Students as Agents of Possibility

    Jeffrey D. Wilhelm

    Abstract: “Now seems an opportune time to turn our attention back to the question of how our education system is going to contribute to helping our children become thoughtful, ethical, caring, and contributing democratic citizens.” Wilhelm documents the fact that students “crave the doing of significant work,” and posits that this is what we are teaching for—to help students see themselves as “agents of possibility.” He sees this goal as part of every class and every unit, and urges teachers to take on the challenge.

  • Books for Young Adolescents" Adolescents and Adolescence: Turning Their World Upside Down

    Shawn Bird and Vickey M. Giles

    Abstract: Our students may seem savvy and technologically comfortable, but they are still young, still growing, and still struggling with a broad spectrum of challenges. The books reviewed here introduce characters dealing with those same changes, and may provide just what some young reader is looking for.

  • Stories along the Way: Mission Possible

    Penny Kittle

    Abstract: As teachers, our most important mission is to turn our students into readers. It sounds so simple, but it’s hard work, and we’re all on a deadline. Kittle describes a class in which her own expectations that students would become readers combined with a few impassioned strategies succeeded . . . at least with a young man named Alan.

  • New Puzzles/Next Moves: Service-Learning: Using the Language Arts to Make a Difference

    Nancy Shanklin

    Abstract: The benefits of service-learning are numerous, and some are hard to come by any other way. Service-learning projects help teachers and students come together in new ways, demonstrate how language skills can help accomplish real-life tasks, and engage students in a way that spurs them to learn more thoroughly and quickly. The lessons can last a lifetime and make a real difference to the students and those they help.

  • Student to Student: How Do You Define Adventure?

    Kim Ford

    Abstract: No matter how your students define adventure, they are sure to find some in this selection of favorites. Think about a book talk on this collection to get the pages turning.

  • Technology Toolkit: I Hear American Writing: NCTE’s National Day on Writing

    Sandy Hayes

    Abstract: When the National Gallery of Writing opens to the public on October 20, Hayes is hoping to hear from every profession, every socioeconomic group, every race, and . . . your students. Here are ideas for the many forms that writing might take, as well as a list of resources to help make writing for the gallery a unique experience for each writer.

  • Professional Reading for Middle Level Educators: Service-Learning: Meaningful Civic and Academic Engagement

    Penny Silvers

    Abstract: The books in this month’s column provide the research base, strategies, and resources to help you develop a socially relevant, critically focused curriculum that will, in turn, offer challenging and exciting community and/or global experiences for your students.  Reviewed are: What Research REALLY Says about Teaching and Learning to Read, by Stephen B. Kucer; Service-Learning . . . by Degrees: How Adolescents Can Make a Difference in the Real World by Alice Terry and Jann Bohnenberger; Using Technology in Middle Grades Language Arts: Strategies to Improve Student Learning, by K. Hunter-Mintz; Teaching Writing That Matters: Tools and Projects That Motivate Adolescent Writers, by Chris W. Gallagher and Amy Lee.

  • Bumps in the Road: Is It More than a Supporting Role? Reflections on the Teaching of Reading from a Social Studies Teacher Educator

    Richard H. Chant, guest author

    Abstract: The role of content-area teachers in reading instruction has long been a subject of debate. Chant, a social studies teacher educator, reasons through the argument that content-area teachers should also be reading teachers while balancing that with the demands on content-area teachers and the complex training required to be a skilled reading teacher. Ultimately, he posits that this is a two-way street, and while content-area teachers are focusing on reading, reading teachers can focus equally on content. Together, they share a goal to make better readers.

  • Postcard from the Middle Level Section

    Carol Gilles

    Abstract: Gilles champions the role of teacher research, both as a systematic inquiry into one’s own teaching practice and as a way to contribute to the professionalism and practice of other teachers through publication.

* 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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